Making Conversations about them asking Count

Published by Making Conversations Count
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{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(250) )}

The way that you wrote the book really connected with me as a reader. So we were going on the journey with Marcus. We were sitting at your kitchen table at midnight while you were writing blog posts and going, "what can I write about now?" We were literally going to the imaginary house that hadn't got a pool yet working out whether they should have fiberglass or something else and what were the differences. We could actually translate that to what we see in our own business in terms of the questions that we get asked that's often just so obvious. But we don't sit back and listen.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(40730) )}

And I think there's something to that, like the amount of people that have said to me, "it's pools!" Right? So because it was pools, it just became so attainable now for so many companies because it was just, like, so incredibly basic we could all understand, okay, I get it. I see the application now. I oftentimes wonder what would have happened with my career if I had not been a pool guy, if I didn't have this singular story where somebody could hear that and say, now it makes sense, I relate to it, and it's made all the difference.

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I don't think there was ever a moment that I was reading this in one sitting, I have to say then going back to it to make notes in it, I never got a chink of what would I do? What's plan B?

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(98210) )}

We didn't have that. And I guess part of that is when you're going to lose your house, when you're going to know that you're going to fold everything. You just don't have the ability to think in terms of plan B. I'm actually really, really grateful for that, because I wonder if it would have been easy to walk away, would we have walked away? And would the story never have been written? It very well may have been the case and that's they say a tree is only as strong as the wind that's blowing to firm it up. And this really was like stress is this beautiful innovator if we allow it to be.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(136610) )}

Of course, it's got something to do with the roots of that tree as well, hasn't it, after that? And what you've just said there just takes me back to the conversation I had with Ivan Meisner about fear paralyzing us. And certainly covet is one of those situations that has made everybody reassess on every level what they're doing and where they want to be doing things. The phone stopped ringing here for me and my business, so I had to do something different. So an awful lot of what was in your book, I actually had the time to apply it's.

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{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(175670) )}

So you go, well, that's a really great idea. And that's a lot of lessons in life and business, isn't it, that you can hear a story resonate with a story, and it will sit with you, but it's not until it actually motivates you into some form of action? Does it have any power?

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(196250) )}

It's so true what you're saying, because when I talk to these event organisers. Right. And they say we're talking about what we're going to cover, I always make the pointless. If the audience doesn't do anything, it doesn't matter how excited they are. If they don't do anything, we have done nothing. We are not there. I'm certainly not there to get people fired up, to get people excited. Now, is that probably going to happen? Yes, it's probably going to happen. And it does help. But if they don't take action. And I think the big difference to this and this is the part that I think when people teach or present or communicate sometimes miss this mark. If somebody sees me here's my singular goal, they could either read the book or they could watch me on a stage. My singular goal is that they say to the person sitting next to them, "oh, my gosh, this is so obvious. Why are we not doing it?" That to me is the highest compliment. That's the highest compliment. Now, if somebody says in the audience "that guy is a genius, look what he did", then I'm missing the mark. Because if somebody saying that guy is a genius, then they're also esteeming his or her actions such that the individual saying it may feel it's unattainable to them. The way we say the thing has got to feel attainable to our audience that it's available for everybody. Right. And so the simplification of the message is absolutely fundamental. And I've had a lot of people say, "yeah, Marcus, I heard a talk on content marketing one time. I didn't get it until I heard yours". Because I'm not trying to sound smart when I explain it. It's not the goal. I'm not trying to impress anybody. I'm detached with the way they perceive me and way more interested in are they saying, again, so obvious, Why are we not doing it?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(322550) )}

That's sort of brought big smile on my face, really, because I've led sales and marketing workshops. I like to be interactive. I like if I'm going to be up front and center for it not to just be all about me. I think this is kind of what comes through and what you're talking about in the book. They ask so you answer. So I answer their questions. And like you're saying, oh, why are we not doing that? Actually, I always think that it's great if people go away going, "I can do that". That was great. Now how am I going to apply that? Because that was just their blueprint. How am I going to shift that? That's what's wonderful about the whole story through "They Ask, You Answer" is that it's universal. It doesn't matter what business you're in.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(374390) )}

Yeah. And if anybody's reading it in the right mindset and mind frame, they're just flooded with ideas the whole time. It's like so many people, like, they read a chapter and just scribbling down like all these things I should have been talking about that I haven't been talking about before. That's incredibly satisfying. So that's your point, Wendy? By the time I get to the end, it shouldn't really be okay. So how do I apply it? It starts to become now, like, I've got all these things to apply. Which one do I choose first? Of what they've already essentially noted or quoted as they've gone through the journey of the book. There's certain things that people send me that is very satisfying, like different stories. But one of the most is just the amount of scribbles and notes and Postits within the pages of the book. It's just so interesting. Right. Because it means incredible stimulation for their brain. It was just hitting on all cylinders. Right. And everything was firing. That's pretty exciting. That's very, very rewarding for me as the writer of the book.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(448620) )}

Well, I've got post it notes. I've also got pencil underlining. I've got highlighter pen through some certain bits. I love the forward, by the way, from The Lego Movie. We're going to save the universe. I think that's fantastic. There's one key message, one key sentence really struck home for me. And it's in Chapter 13. And it's when people buy, they worry more about what might go wrong than what will go right. That's the key thing that you need to understand, start to finish.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(489870) )}

Yeah. And that's why if somebody hears me, I use a phrase oftentimes when they're asking me to explain, "They Ask, You Answer". I say it's an obsession with the questions, worries, fears, issues, concerns, etc. Of your potential customer. So lots of times I think it's just the questions. But those questions become manifesting. Worries, issues, fears, concerns, etc. Right. It's not until we're really serious about spending our money on something that we start to wonder, all right, how could this go wrong? How could this blow up in my face? What could be the drawbacks? What could be the negatives? We don't ask those things unless we actually want the thing. That's why when people push back on talking about the negatives or the perceived negatives of their product or their service, stuff that people are asking about. No, that's the ones we want to lean into the most, because those are our most serious buyers. They're not just Lookers, they're buyers. They really do want to buy.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(489870) )}

One of the most classic ones I've heard here in the States, outside of "They Ask, You Answer" outside of River Pools, my pool company, was a metal roofing manufacturer. And one of the most common questions with metal roofing shoppers is "what are the problems with the metal roof?"

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(489870) )}

Right? Because they see the benefits, but they're like, I've heard there's issues like "when the rain hits it, is it too loud?" Right. So all these issues potentially. And so this manufacturer, all they do manufacture metal roofs. Right. They produce a video on the seven biggest problems with metal roofs, and it did a quarter of a million views in the first two years. And this is such a niche question here. Think about it. What are the problems with the metal roof? And again, the only people asking it are those that are considering a metal roof on their building, on their house. Quarter of a million people now could be their customers because they've resolved the issue instead of allowing someone else in the marketplace to control the conversation. Because here you don't want to have control in that conversation. It's the company that's not doing metal roofing products because you know, they're going to be leading folks astray they're going to talk against the thing. Whereas the greatest way in life to resolve a concern is to address it before it becomes a concern. So with me and pools, right. It's like I know they're going to ask, what are the problems with the fiberglass pool? Are they ugly? Are they cheap? Do they pop out of the ground? These are the types of questions that I have to get in front of if I want to control the conversation, if I want to dictate the terms in my industry, that to me is the thought leadership 101. That's what it is. And unfortunately, a lot of companies just don't think that way. They think, okay, if I introduce the problem, I'm introducing the elephant in the room. But the elephant is the elephant. That's why it's an elephant. It's not an Ant in the room. It's an elephant in the room, which means they're going to see it. And so it's your job as the business to address it.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(689670) )}

Yeah. Now I asked the audience this morning if they had any particular questions for you and a very good friend of mine, Jenny Proctor, who I've worked with, and we go for coffee as well. Sometimes she asked a question and I thought, this is covered in the book. But I'm going to ask anyway because I think it's still an important question. And that was around talking about the negative, about the cost comparisons and about the competition. Clients are not courageous enough to start opening up against what they see as insider information. So what's your take on that market? I know there's a whole Ream of it here.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(736364) )}

It boils down to what is our philosophy as a business? So "They Ask, You Answer" is a philosophy and a framework. All right. It's a philosophy in that it should eliminate debate amongst leadership teams or marketing teams or strategy teams. It's really simple. Are we consistently hearing the question? The answer is yes. Then we've made a decision already. It's not if we're going to address it. It's how we're going to address it. That's the key. It's not if it's how. That's also why I like to joke, Wendy, that really the perfect title to the book to most accurately describe this philosophy is "They Ask, You Address It Really Well", but that's not a very good title for a book.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(792488) )}

Not a good hook.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(793894) )}

No, it's not a good hook. Right. It's not as memorable, but it's actually the most accurate way of approaching it because true, you can't necessarily say everything, but what you can do is you can address the questions. And of course, you're doing it already with your sales team and anybody in your organisation that sells because you get these questions in that face to face in person environment. And so why do we wait to have that moment? What's so scary is if you wait for them to ask by that point oftentimes, we've already lost them. There's a good chance we're not going to get them. They're gone because they've been vetting us and they said, I'm not satiated, I'm not satisfied. I'm going to go elsewhere. So it goes back to is this your philosophy or is your philosophy we're going to be selective in what we're willing to answer, even though we know our customers want to know it's one or the other, if you literally can't have both. So once you say, all right, we're going to do this, then it becomes a living the solution mindset. How do we address it the best we can?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(869750) )}

Would you recommend them that if they're not courageous enough to put it out publicly on their website, for example, sort of blog and answering it there, that they start to implement it in a smaller scale through their sales teams and the conversations that they're having with the inquiries that they're getting just so they can kind of breathe into it?

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(891272) )}

No, I actually wouldn't really recommend that. Okay, here's what's interesting about "They Ask, You Answer", and I'm fascinated with this. Dipping your toes doesn't really seem to work very much. No, you're going to be all in it's just like either we believe this or we don't. It's like the company says, okay, we're going to talk about cost and price. We're going to put a pricing tab on our navigation bar, but then we're going to ask them to fill out a form so that we can get back to them. No, that doesn't count. That's dipping your toes in that's terrible. In fact, that just annoys people.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(930404) )}

So it's very hard to live in that lukewarm space. So you either do it or you don't. The thing about you said with the sales team, the sales team is already doing it, Wendy right. Because they're going to respond to anything they get asked. They're not going to ignore anything. That's what salespeople do. They respond now, the way they respond can change, of course, from salesperson salesperson, but they respond. So as an organisation, do we accept certain truths? Are our buyers researching and vetting us to death before they reach out to us? Yes or no? If you say no, you're denying the existence of everything we know to be true of the digital age. But fine, you can say no if you want, but eventually you're going to be left behind. So if we say yes, our buyers are vetting us to death and our competitors to death, and our products and our services to death are more informed than they've ever been and they want their questions answered. Do we accept this to be true or not? We accept it be true. Are we going to do anything about it? Yes or no? Because here's the thing. This what we're talking about. It's a rock in your shoe. As a business, you've had a rock in your shoe before even the smallest of pebbles. Does it stay in like, I don't feel like taking that out right now. You walk a few more steps. Oh, my gosh, it's so uncomfortable.

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{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1013528) )}

You have to take off your shoe and remove the rock. And so this isn't going away and it's going to become commonplace. What's sad, though, Wendy, is most of the people don't do it until they're forced to do it by their competitors because the competitors already did it. So let me give an example of how this is happening, because I've now spoken a ridiculous amount of times different industries around the world, certain industries have completely changed in terms of transparency because of my teachings. One of the most well known ones for me, of course, is the marine industry. Boating manufacturers. So boating manufacturers never talked about cost and price before. I got so involved with the industry, they just didn't do it. And of course, the excuse was dealers going to set the price with the end users. So it's not our job to do that. But they do most of the research on the manufacturer's website. And then after they've done the research on the manufacturer's website, they go to the dealer who sells said brand, and then they do some more vetting there, and then they reach out. That's how it works. And so you're a B to BTC company. Stop thinking you're not. You're a B to BTC. You're manufacturing. You're selling to a dealer who's selling to the consumer B to BTC. And that's actually how most manufacturers are. Most are B to BTC. They don't necessarily realize that, but they are. And they're becoming more so by the day, by the way. And so what happened was everybody said, no, we can't do that, Marcus. Then one manufacturer did it. And then as soon as that domino fell, what, of course, started to happen. And I will never forget a snooty owner, CEO of a manufacturing company in the marine industry, say to me, that's not our buyer. The hell you talking about? It's not our buyer. I'm your buyer, dude. I am because I'm a boating fanatic. Like, I have a YouTube channel, right? I have purchased boats more expensive than his boats. And I want to know how much they cost why? Because I'm a human being. And as human beings, we tend to want to know what it's going to cost 99. 9% of the time before we give the money. We want to know how much is it. The other .1% is when we're being robbed and we didn't know.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1185350) )}

Yes. I don't think anybody goes, oh, yeah, I'll have that. Don't worry about how much it costs.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1189798) )}

Yeah. You write the check. Yeah, I'll just sign. Pick a number. Exactly. Wendy crazy, right?

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1200050) )}

It is something that really tickles me that people are a little bit like, oh, no, it's mine, it's mine. It's mine. And it sort of reminds me of a title to one of your chapters. I've been told if we're not adding anything new to the conversation and we shouldn't be talking about it, it's like, well, that's like the CEO of that marine boating company saying, well, we don't really know who our customer is then, so let's not talk to them.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1229870) )}

That's exactly right. I actually get really myth about some of the things that you see when it comes. I think a lot of folks that talk about social media, talk about content, talk about this, talk about that. They act like there's no learning curve to this whole thing. Like, as businesses, we've got to start the race running. And if we can't start a running, we shouldn't start the race at all. It's like, what are you talking about? Like, you're going to crawl for a while and then you're going to stumble and start walking, and then you're going to start jogging and start running. That's how it works with anything in life. But yet when it comes to the Internet, we're not allowed to do that. Everything you do, we have got to understand there's going to be a learning curve. The companies that don't embrace learning curves, that don't embrace the messy, they suck at the Internet, they're no good because they think, I'm going to just make this quantum leap without actually doing the learning component to this. I'm going to come out the gate. Perfect Bull crap you are. That's not going to happen. And so the ones that embrace the messy, let's say, you know what, on a letter grade scale, this is like a C plus. Eventually it's going to be a B, maybe it'll be an A, but today we're going to take C plus. We're going to take it.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1314224) )}

Sometimes we take the step.

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{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1318160) )}

Beginning of the conversation is just about taking some action towards it. Yeah. So as a big advocate of eliminating the confusion by educating people what you do, often that means actually over sharing as well what you do, because that's sometimes the only way to prove it. I was screaming when I first got this book, and I still go back to the glossary and think I might have missed it. Perhaps it's under a different word, but in the index I can't find any reference to the telephone. So where does the telephone play out in your business?

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1368490) )}

Well, I think if somebody does what's spoused, in "They Ask, You Answer", the telephone gets a lot easier because if you think about it, how do we use the telephone in business? There's different ways that we use it. So if somebody's calling us, first of all, they've already vetted us. So do we want that phone conversation to be so much better, or do we want it to be a lackluster conversation, one that we're teaching the whole time instead of potentially selling? Right. Because that's the idea. Like, as a business, we have to sell at some point. If it's just teach, then eventually you're going to go broke. And so ideally, your website is doing the teach. Once you actually talk to the prospect, that's when we're selling specific to them, their problems, their needs, their issues. Right. That's the whole goal to this. And so there's a lot of manifestations with how this applies to that telephone or that in person conversation, whatever that is, because we want those to be better. There's a whole section in the book on this thing called Assignment Selling. Simon, selling is absolutely magical. It's when you intentionally integrate content into the sales process. And when we were talking to a prospect on the phone before we went out to the house, we would always intentionally assign them content, knowing that if our average customer would or better stated, if someone hit 30 pages, read 30 pages, consume 30 pages of our content before the initial sales conversation. In other words, when we went to their home, they would buy 80% of the time. And if they didn't hit that magical number, 30, they would buy 25% of the time. And so all we had to do was find a way for them to consume essentially 30 pieces of our content. And we knew we're going to make a sale one out of five times. So that meant, A, we had to follow the ask the answer, but B, we had to be intentional with our content. And it really happened with that phone call because we got very intentional by saying, hey, Wendy, sure, I'm willing to come out to your house, but getting ready to spend a lot of money. And I don't want you to make any mistakes. So as you don't make any mistakes, I'm going to make sure you're really well educated. So here's where I'm going to send you as we're talking on the phone right now and then really explain the why behind what you're saying to them and how it's going to prevent them from making any mistakes. And at the end of it, I can say to you, so, Wendy, will you make sure to review those things before our appointment on Friday? And I get that commitment from you. And that Sales 101. Right. But the power behind that is now if you do your homework, you're going to buy 80% of the time. And that's really powerful.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1531750) )}

Yeah. And I think that's the key piece that some forget is that they rely on the content to do all of the work and then they just kind of answer the phone.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1543792) )}

Yeah. You got to be intentional. You got to be intentional. It's like here's what you don't say to somebody you don't say. So, Wendy, before I come out to your house on Friday, it'd be really great. If you could take a look at a video I'm going to send you. That would be great. That'd be cool. No, that's not selling. And Wendy ain't going to do that. So I have to say so, Wendy, I don't want you to make any mistakes with this purchase. You can raise a lot of money. Now here's what I'm going to send you. Here's why I'm sending it to you. Here's the value to you, Wendy. We make sure to take the time to review these things before appointment on Friday. That's selling. That's what's going to lead to a great conversation with Wendy on Friday. Right. Because she's going to be so informed. So many sales people feel like their sales conversations are like Groundhogs Day. You know what they're going to ask even before they ask it? Why? Because they haven't gotten the answers yet. So why do you allow people to ask the same questions over and over again? Have we not learned our lesson? Do we enjoy practicing answering the same questions over and over again? Personally, if I can eliminate those questions, if I can have that person already know the answers and they learn it from us, that's what I want to do. That's why this content becomes so, so effective. Right. It's very intentional. Again, that's the thing. I think in many ways that's the key phrase is your intentionally means you have a plan, you have a strategy to integrating that content into the sales process. And when I hear about companies producing content, but the sales teams aren't using them or that salesperson, whoever it is, they're not using it intentionally in the sales process. What a tragedy that is because they're missing incredible opportunities in those moments. Increase closing rates. You're going to shorten sales cycles every single time.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1654612) )}

Yes. And this is kind of where I always say it's marketing and sales and not sales and marketing because the marketing comes first.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1661896) )}

You're right. We got that backwards. And I guess it just has a better ring. Sales and marketing.

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{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1667308) )}

But you're so right about that. It's backwards because it should be from especially today when marketing is handling roughly 80% of the sales process, they're through 80% of the journey. Right. So it's like, Holy cow, such a heavy, heavy influence.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1683798) )}

Yeah. And when the conversation between those two departments, they're not flowing. So the sales people don't know how to present what the marketing has said. So this is kind of what comes back to me in terms of culture through the company. It shouldn't matter if you're on the front desk or at the delivery desk that you should be able to talk to a customer on any level about anything that they want to ask. Educating of staff, no matter their role.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1718154) )}

I think, well, that's what's really cool about the fact now that "They Ask, You Answer" has been out for a while, and I've had some companies that have just gone all in on it. It becomes very cultural across the organisation. Like everybody in customer service, anybody that's in engineering or product, everybody's thinking about this mindset, hey, we're going to be the best teachers in the world. We're going to be so in tuned with what our customers and our prospects are thinking and fearing and asking and searching. We're going to live our lives in a way that we're thinking about that, considering that all the time we walk in their shoes, because we walk in their shoes. We know what they feel, we know what they think, we know what they ask, we know what they search, and we're willing to address those things in every facet of our company and of our organisation because people become better subject matter Experts One of the problems that I've been seeing a lot lately with sales, Wendy and anybody that's been alive has experienced this in the last year. So often we walk into a location or we call a company and we can immediately tell that we know more than the salesperson does about the product or the service that we're interested in. That's bad, but we've all experienced it. It was so wonderful the other day I bought a new vehicle, and generally the salesperson, I'll ask about the electronics or something about some of the tech components, and they're like, I'll find that out for you. This dude gave me a whole 101 full blown he knew this vehicle inside and out. And it was so atypical right? Because normally we're not seeing that from the sales world. So sales teams have to elevate their game. They've got to become better subject matter experts better than they've ever been, which means companies need to make sure they're being trained to be better than they've ever been. It cannot be a loose. They've got to be up to date. But one of the best ways for especially sales teams to be up to date with product or with whatever the thing is that you're selling is that they're helping marketing produce the content, they're helping with the videos, they're helping as a subject matter expert on the articles, and this keeps them up to date. And that's one of the benefits of having this beautiful content program where you're teaching and answering customers questions is because it forces your team to become better, more informed subject matter experts.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1878110) )}

I would go as far as to say that the guy at the garage that sold you the car wanted to be driving one, too. And it's that kind of passion, isn't it, when you really believe in a product or service that you would talk about it as though it is yours, it belongs to you.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1894736) )}

That's right.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1895348) )}

This is the belief that I think is lacking from certain sales organisations is that they're just pushing cartons and boxes and quotas order takers.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1908034) )}

Right. I mean, it's like we've got to go beyond that and still some pride in the way that we sell. But this goes back to the way we communicate. The way we communicate to me is very organisational, that's very cultural. And that's why I think as organisations, we don't teach communication nearly enough. Because when you teach it well and you have a beautiful foundation of the way we communicate, well, then that affects your interpersonal conversations. That affects the way marketing does their messaging, that affects the way sales does their messaging. That affects the way leadership talks to the internal team and externally as well. I mean, it's like this is my agency impact. We spend so much time on communication. It's a big deal. I can't talk about it enough.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(1956530) )}

And I have to agree that when you're invested in what you do, that's the confidence that's the passion you don't have, UMS, and ours you don't have the I will get back to you. I don't know, because there's nothing that you don't want to not know about. It big fan of training for sales and because those conversations will count more when you know what you're talking about.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(1986530) )}

Let me say one other thing about this. What's really cool about the ask you answer that a lot of companies have come back to me and said is because our learning center or our blog on our website is so robust, it has now become the training manual for new employees. That's really powerful. Right. The other way that it works, Wendy. And this is really prolific today in a time period when everybody's struggling with recruiting is more and more companies are doing the "They Ask, You Answer" for potential recruits on their website. So an entire section that's just the questions that a potential employee would be asking and answers to those questions very effective. And what's also very interesting is just like we've found that there's a tipping point for page consumption. When a prospect consumes a certain amount of pages of your website, they're probably going to buy. There's the same tipping point that when a potential employee is reading your website, if they hit a certain number of pages, there's a very good chance they're going to apply and try to work for you. They're going to reach out. It's very cool.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2059016) )}

I would say the byproduct has got to be as well that people have not got the right kind of mindset and not going to want to come and work with you, and they're not going to want to buy from you. Either.

{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2069930) )}

That's right. It is an amazing, beautiful filter because you end up dealing with those that share your values or aligned with you. The good fits, as we like to call them. And if you eliminate the bad fits, everybody wins because we're spending less time. No. Salesperson especially enjoys spinning a long sales cycle on somebody that they find out later is not a good fit for some reason. Right.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2097170) )}

I've got imagination going on now of where there's a basement for hundred storey office company Corporation, and there's one guy in the basement waiting for the phone to ring for somebody to complain.

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{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2111936) )}

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

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That would be amazing. Right. And is it going to happen necessarily that way? I mean, who knows? It could, but could have happened much less. In other words, the bad fits, the ones that had regret, or the just the wasted sales processes, could they happen less? I absolutely believe they could. And that's what's so interesting is like, why are we afraid to be really honest with people? One of the things that we talk about in "They Ask, You Answer", is that everybody should have a section of their website that says who they are and who they're not a good fit for. And almost everybody says who they are a good fit for. But few companies rarely ever does anybody say very definitively, very distinctly who they're not a good fit for. It's an activity I love to do with business leaders and even marketers like, I want you to tell me one sentence. Who is your company not a good fit for? And if they struggle, it means they have an identity problem in their messaging. I can guarantee you suffers because of it.

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{( speakerName('B') )} {( convertTime(2180676) )}

So if somebody asked me now, who is your swimming pool company not a good fit for? Immediately, I could tell you it's not going to be some snarky answer sarcastic answer like, well, if you don't value quality work, we're not a good fit for you.

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They're not buyers.

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Right? That's the cheap one. If I say something like, if you're looking for a swimming pool that's longer than 40ft or wider than 16ft or deeper than 8ft, if you're looking for something that's extremely customized in terms of shape or size, well, then our company is probably not the best fit for you. I've said it. And the thing about it is now, I would say that over a much longer video or textual article, whatever the thing is. Let's go to my agency for a second. Right. Impact. If you're looking for a company that's going to do all of your marketing for you, in other words, you want an agency that's going to write your articles, that's going to produce your videos, it's going to do your social media campaigns, and you're really not interested in learning how to do those things yourself in house. Well, then we're probably not the best fit for you. Okay, once again, it is a very clear understanding of who we are. But the moment you're willing to say what you're not, that's the moment you become dramatically more attractive to those who you are a good fit for.

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Yeah. I've had clients say one of the reasons that I picked you, Wendy, was I knew that you were going to drop the truth bombs on us whether we liked it or not. And not everybody wants that. They want it sugar coated. They want there, there. It'll be fine. You just do it that way. If you don't do it that way, well, that's okay. Well, no, it's not. Because experience tells us, isn't it?

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That's right. That's exactly right. And people, the ones that want that kick in the tail, they will seek that out. I have a business coach. I sought that out. I didn't want somebody that was there to tell me how great we were doing. I didn't want a cheerleader. I wanted somebody to kick us in the tail and take us from a nine to a ten. That's what I wanted.

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So where are you now?

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9.9% still got a ways to go.

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But that's the thing, isn't it? We're always on the learning curve. And then.

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That's right.

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You get to the top of the summit, there's another mountain.

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Just another one.

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A little bit. Yeah. So keep climbing. Keep climbing those mountains. One piece of advice for anybody in business right now, when it comes to their marketing, just say marketing because it's aside from "They Ask, You Answer", go get a copy and implement that. Now what's the one thing that we all have to do?

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Okay, this is going to be "They Ask, You Answer"-ish. But if you haven't done, "They Ask, You Answer", the first thing to do is what I did at my kitchen table is you brainstorm with a pencil and a piece of paper all the questions that you've received over the years about your product or your service, any question that you know that somebody's searching online right now. If you were buying your product or your service, what would you type into that little box called Google? Write all of them down. Write them all down, and then ask yourself honestly, once you're done. And by the way, if you don't come up with at least 5200, you're being lazy and you don't know your industry very well. So once you've done this, ask yourself a simple question. How many of these are answered on my website right now? Yes, the answer will surprise you. Once you've done that, you know what you need to do next.

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You got to start putting the content out there to answer those questions.

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That's exactly right.

{( speakerName('A') )} {( convertTime(2415730) )}

Well, Marcus, I don't know whether you're aware of this, but every guest that comes on the show, I ask them to recall one conversation that they can remember that created a turning point for them. So this is the bit I have no idea what's coming next. So what have you got for me today?

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Well, I would say that it's not going to be a very good conversation in the sense of two people. But I think sometimes when we're reading or listening to a book, it's like a conversation, like the person is speaking to us. Two most important things better stated that's ever happened to my swimming pool company. One was, of course, doing the ask you answer. That changed us forever. But there was a time when I had three different retail stores and I was selling hot tubs and pool tables, tanning beds, saunas and all types of stuff. And it was in the two thousands and I was not making any money. I was spinning my wheels, probably going backwards. And I read Good to Great and Jim Collins. And they explained to me because I listened to them over and over again in my car. He explained to me, you got to choose your Hedgehog concept, Marcus. The Hedgehog concept, as explained in the book, is you say Hedgehog is a pretty simple animal. It's not very talented, but it does one thing really well. And the one thing that it does really well is when it gets attacked, it rolls up into a spiky ball and it's very hard at that point to do any damage. It does that one thing very well. And so I was doing all these things and I wasn't doing anything very well. That was when I said, I need to get rid of all my retail stores. I need to stop selling above ground pools. I need to stop doing the pool tables. I need to stop doing the hot tubs. I got rid of all those things. I said, we're going to do one thing, one thing. We're going to be the best in the world at fiberglass swimming pools. That was our Hedgehog. That was our roll up into the ball. And then once we started, "They Ask, You Answer" looked around and everybody was saying things like, you got to be everywhere. I said, no, we're going to do one thing. We're going to answer our customers questions. We're going to do it on our website. For the first six months, all I did was answer a customer questions over the website in text. One thing once I mastered that, we added video. One thing I didn't do social media with river pools, like for six or seven years after "They Ask, You Answer". Think about that. Because I didn't want to be distracted from being great at one thing. That one thing principle has been pivotal to my entire business success.

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Well, I think then the front of this book, next time it's reprinted, ought to have a little Hedgehog on it because it absolutely comes through that you are focused on that one thing. So a really important message for everybody in business, too. And of course, I'll just share with you that Harris the crest, if you like the ancestral crest is three golden hedgehogs.

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No way. Absolutely! That's really wild. I love the fact that you get it right and you help companies really with what we've been talking about today and the fact that so many people help spreading this message makes me really happy. So I appreciate you and I'm hoping that your audience will get something out of this, but I think they will. Especially if they've got an open heart, open mind. They're going to get a lot out of this.

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Yeah, well, they say that we attract likeminded people, so present company included.

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Yeah, I agree with that.

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And if anybody wants to carry on the conversation with you, Marcus, I know you mentioned it earlier. Is LinkedIn the best place for them?

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Definitely. What's funny is as we've talked about already, you won't find me on Facebook. You won't find me on Instagram. Why? Because I said, where can I be the best in the world at I think I can be the best version of myself for social media on LinkedIn so that's where I put my focus and that's why I've done very well on LinkedIn is because I'm not trying to be good in all these places.