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Business owners are busy—they don't have time to create and maintain listings on social networks, search engines, maps, and directories. In this webinar, learn about the best ways to sell Yext to local businesses, straight from the experts themselves.
What does the activity 'Attempted to connect Google Business Profile' mean in Sales & Success Center?
In Sales & Success Center, you might see this activity in the “Recent activity” area on the account details page: Normally, this means a Business App user has attempted to connect Google Business Profile in the Business App through the following steps: 1. Log in to Business App. 2. Click on Settings > Connections. 3. Click on “+” right next to Google Business Profile. 4. Follow the instructions, sign in with Google, and click “Allow.” 5. The user will then be directed to the connection details page to connect a specific location from the Google Business Profile to Business App. This is when the “Attempted to connect to Google Business Profile” activity will be captured in “Recent Activity.” Note: This activity also appears when a Partner's internal users attempt to connect. For example, in a scenario where an Admin attempts to connect to Business App via impersonation of a Business App user or Access Business App as an admin.
A short video that highlights the benefits of reputation management for small businesses. Australian Voice-over: British Voice-over: North American Voice-over: To host these videos on your website, start the video, click the Embed button which can be found by hovering your cursor over the video to pop up the play bar, and selecting the "Share Control" button (it will automatically save the embed code to your clipboard), and then paste the code into the HTML of your website. When we update the video to highlight the latest features, it will automatically update on your website as well! If you would like to hide the Embed button once you've embedded it on your website, please enter:?plugin%5Bshare%5D%5Bon%5D=false at the end of the URL. You can also download the video by clicking on the Share Control button in the play bar. We recommend embedding because you don't have to worry about hosting the video and any updates will automatically update on your site as well, but the download option is available to you. That's not all! The video thumbnail is also included as a downloadable attachment in this article, so you have everything you need to get Jenn working hard for you. Enjoy!
If your Instagram posts in Social Marketing are failing with the error message "user is not an Instagram business," these steps will help you make it a Business or Professional Account: Log in to the Instagram mobile app. Go to your Profile. Click on the 3 horizontal lines at the top right-hand corner of your profile page. Click "Settings" at the bottom of the page. Click on "Accounts." Click on "Switch to Professional Account." Disconnect the Instagram account in Social Marketing and reconnect it. In Social Marketing for the account, retry any failed posts.
Please note: If a business is listed as a service area business on the Google Business Profile directly, it will not be found by Reputation Management, and therefore will not pull into the Snapshot Report. This is due to a limitation with the Google API that powers our listing search. To have the Google listing pulled into the Snapshot Report, please connect it directly in Reputation Management. If you have checked Service Area Business in the address section of a client's Business Profile, our system will continue to attempt to make a match to your business listing and pull them into our platform. If the address on an external listing source accurately matches the information you have listed in the Business Profile it will be pulled into our platform and marked as an accurate listing. If the address does not match what is on the listing source, the listing will be marked as a 'listing found with possible errors' and will need to be edited on the external source.
If you are ready or not, the pandemic is a Forcing Function for Digital Transformation that local businesses need to adopt. Marty Fisher, President of Sherpa Marketing, is our guest this week; Marty started Sherpa Marketing in 1996. Since the global pandemic hit local businesses hard he started an initiative called Adopt a Business. He has a passion for local businesses, and when he saw the effects the pandemic would on the economy he knew Sherpa Marketing needed to step in. George and Marty discuss how the pandemic has been a forcing function for a digital transformation, they explain that now more than ever the importance of e-commerce on a website and being able to update their online listings in an instant. Owning and managing Sherpa Marketing since 1996, Marty brings “Big Idea” thinking, marketing intelligence, and business acumen to every customer interaction. Providing solutions that deliver value is not an objective that can be met without a strong commitment from the leadership of a company. By encouraging the team to embrace this philosophy he ensures that all customers receive the full benefit of Sherpa’s capabilities. He tries to prove repeatedly that his breadth of knowledge and expertise affect positive outcomes for his clients. His experience with all types of technology allows him to offer the most current solutions to his client’s challenges. His belief in technology “as the great equalizer” means he is hard-wired to always think of ways to integrate marketing tactics. A commitment to uncovering the most effective and measurable communication strategies is one of Marty’s passions. He is not content to “phone it in”, He challenges himself and the Sherpa team to do more and find incremental value. Clients receive the benefit of this drive - successful projects with tangible and measurable results. Keep the conversation going in the Conquer Local Community, and to learn more take a course in the Conquer Local Academy. Introduction George: Well the global pandemic known as COVID-19, probably giving it more airtime on this podcast than I would like, but I do wanna talk about something that's near and dear to my heart and I'm sure near and dear to our listeners, if you are in the local space, which is what the title of the podcast is all about, conquering local, you know that some of the customers that you've been dealing with, you probably won't be dealing with moving forward and that is the real piece that is just ripping us apart, is that our local economies are gonna look a lot different. And I've been talking a lot about the glass being half full and that there's an opportunity in every challenge, and there are more people that feel that way. And I found a gentleman through various channels, give a lot of credit to a young gentleman named Logan that's on our team, and of course, producer Colleen for doing some work in getting Marty Fisher for the podcast today. Marty is the President of Sherpa Marketing, which is a marketing agency. It’s been in business since 1996, located in a beautiful city in Canada called Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, a city of about half a million people. Marty is very committed to the local business community and when he saw this challenge, he saw this impact that COVID-19 and the fallout it was having on local businesses, he put together a program called the Adopt a Business Challenge. We're gonna learn all about this initiative. We're gonna find out what was the impetus for moving into this thing; it's great, we at Vendasta are contributing to it by giving out Local Business Online Toolkits to help Marty and this initiative. I'm not gonna steal the thunder, it's an enormous thing that he is doing for local businesses in his community. We bring him here as a thought leader so that you might be able to take this concept and replicate it into your communities to protect that precious resource of the local businesses that we need to be supporting because that is the lifeblood of our economy. Marty Fisher, the President of Sherpa Marketing is coming up in a moment, right here on the Conquer Local Podcast. George: Marty Fisher joining us, President of Sherpa Marketing, and Marty is in the beautiful city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and Marty I wanna talk about the Adopt a Business Challenge, but first, tell us a little bit about your career and Sherpa Marketing, we'd love to get a little background from you. Marty: Sure, thanks George. Sherpa is a National Agency. We think of ourselves as a group of full-stack marketers and developers. We have clients throughout North America and we really like to think about marketing in a very integrated way, we're very strong at digital, but we also believe that traditional media, like print and radio, and television still has a role to play in marketing. So, that full stack really does paint a pretty good picture of what we're able to do. We're a team of generalists and everybody has their own specialty within those general areas. Adopt a Business Challenge: Helping Local Businesses Amplify Their Online Presence George: So the reason that you and I are meeting here on the Conquer Local Podcast, I was made aware of your organization and an initiative that you've started through one of my colleagues, who's been speaking to you and I was, when speaking to Logan, I'm like, "We need to get Marty on the podcast." Because you share a passion that we have on the Conquer Local Podcast for local business. And unfortunately, due to recent events, our local business community, I don't care where you're listening to the sound of my voice, is under attack and you have come up with an amazing initiative to help those local businesses. Marty: Yeah, we were sitting around trying to figure out what to do with all of our spare time that was, unfortunately, a consequence of all these businesses being forced to stay home and we decided, you know what, we've got some available time, let's try and put some good karma back out into the world. And so Sherpa decided to start something called the Adopt a Business Challenge. And so we staked $50,000 worth of marketing services, and said, to any small businesses, please apply to receive these services. And then I turned around and said to some other agency and marketing group owners that I knew, "Hey, I'm doing this, can I sort of tag you in?" And say, "Hey, Doug Darling at Tripwire, are you in?" And so, we actually had the idea, even before the U.S. started that All In Challenge, we were already soliciting other agency owners to offer their services to small businesses who needed it. And so, it's really got a bit of a life of its own now, we've got over 11 partners and we've raised over $200,000 in free marketing services for small businesses and helping them take some of those, either, first baby steps digitally or helping them become more savvy marketers in social or taking advantage of Google's favoring of hyper-local search results. George: Well, I applaud you in this initiative and that's why we wanted to have you on the podcast was to learn some more about what are you hearing as we take a pulse with local business owners? What are you hearing from local businesses? And was it one particular meeting that you had? Or was it, you don't strike me as the type of person who would have a lot of free time on your hands, but there had to be some sort of impetus that was like, "We need to do this, we need to help." Marty: Yeah, I mean, it really wasn't anything specific in terms of a place that we consumed, so much as many of the local businesses, whether they’re are restaurants or small boutiques that my staff consumes their products and services, and they're like, "Oh my gosh, like this place could go out of business, what can we do? They don't have a good website; they don't have a good social media presence. Is there anything that we can do to kind of help them?" And we're like, "Yeah, let's get on this." And so, we basically created these custom landing pages with applications, then we've had something like 50 businesses now apply for us to assist them, and us and our partners to assist them with marketing. And so, the thing that we kind of… looked at, at Sherpa was, we can't save lives. I mean, we're not in the business of saving lives, but with our skills and know-how we might be able to help save a livelihood, and so that was really where things came from. And as a Canadian and in particular a Western Canadian, we haven't necessarily been affected by the pandemic, as brutally as people in places like Spain, France, Toronto, and New York City. We're just, our geographic isolation, in some ways actually played to our favor, but it didn't change the fact that the economic impact of this is in some ways, at least in our geography, greater than the actual physical pole, so that's part of the motivation for us as well. How Does COVID-19 Impact the Economy and Online Marketing? George: Well, that's the issue, is we have this disease, which is a bad thing, for sure but then we also have this economic impact, which is a bad thing for sure, because it's impacting people's livelihoods. I had somebody say to me one time, a business owner, that's how they feed their kids. And when you look at it that way, that's a whole different way of looking at it. You're like, "It's a business owner, and they're making all this money, and they drive a nice vehicle and live in a nice house." No, they're paying for groceries and they're hoarding toilet paper, and they're doing all the things that they need to do to support their family, and it has a greater impact than just that one door that we're looking at. So I applaud you, and we share the same passion; the initiative that we undertook as an organization was to protect local. So we have this idea of conquering local, helping businesses conquer this marketing thing, which is a beast and we're gonna get into that in a moment, but then how do we protect our local economy? How do we protect the coach of our kids’ soccer team who happens to own the bike shop down the street? That's really who you're looking to help with this initiative and you get immense kudos for me on that. Now, let's talk about marketing. It's always interesting to me to talk to a marketing expert like yourself, someone who's been in the business for a long time. Someone told me the other day that COVID-19 is a forcing function for digital transformation, do you believe that to be true? Marty: Yes, that is 100% aligned with our experience. We started our business in 1996 and always took a digital-first mentality. And so, Sherpa Marketing actually made its first website in cold fusion in 1998. And we did our first AdWords campaign in 2002. And so, we've always been well-positioned and a little bit out in front of the digital world and it feels like if anything, the pandemic has forced people to kind of catch up to where we were, we always kind of felt like we were in the future and so while some of our more traditional services, were not very busy or not busy at all, to call a spade a spade, our digital marketing team and software developing group is really, really busy and this has forced, let's call it for lack of a better term, the digital laggards to really make that investment and take those steps into making sure that they have a decent digital presence. George: So the ability to conduct business online, I'm using that as a catch-all because I think depending upon the type of business that it is, e-commerce is exploding and that again, is this forcing function. I think what's happened is anyone that was able to conduct business online during this event is now being held up as a poster child in the various communities, the word of mouth is spreading, and they're telling stories of, no, we were actually able to keep a revenue line, we had fewer expenses because, whatever it might have been government subsidy or God forbid, but a layoff or furlough of some staff, so they kept the cost down, so they were able to continue business. But it's not always about a shopping cart and having inventory online, there's more than that when it comes to conducting business online. Can we talk about some other verticals, and how those other verticals could adopt digital solutions to continue to be able to operate if they have to lock the door, and put a, we're shut down for a couple of days type sign up there because I think the thing lurking in the background is this could happen again. Marty: Yeah, absolutely, and you made a really good point. It isn't necessarily about the ability to do e-commerce, it might be simply the ability to be agile and edit a page that says your hours of operation, or that you have curbside pickup or how you're responding to the safety protocols for welcoming people back to your store. So there's something that I've really kept close to my chest and something whenever I've done keynotes is a very simple stat, over 90% of purchase intent is informed through an internet search. So, think about it, when was the last time any of us made any sort of a consequential purchase without grabbing our phone or grabbing our tablet, computer, whatever, and getting at a Google search and typing something in? It's not just, what can I buy from you? It's, when are you open? Where are your locations? Like I said, what is your protocol? And the ability to be agile in making those updates is really actually what's probably more important than anything, is just keeping your information up-to-date. George: It seems to me, and I'm sure to some of our listeners to the podcast that have been around for the last three years that we've been having the privilege of speaking every week to this listener base, are like, "But we've been talking about this for a long time." And we have digital marketers that were out in front of the curve have been saying, on Facebook, you should be talking about your products and services, not only buy my stuff, but about what your mission is and your vision and talking about the staff members and their resume, and what they bring to the table. So it is a lot more than just the ability to take a bike and put it into a shopping cart, I'm using a bike analogy because I bought a bike online, but it's more than that, it's around, imagine if your customer base was nervous about getting into a confined space with extra people. You know what, that is a thing that we need to be aware of because consumers are concerned about that. So to your point, I think it's a very good one, having that panel on the website or on the social media profile or wherever the consumer is finding that business, I don't know if a lot of businesses would be thinking about that messaging. And I'm glad that you brought it up because, for our listener base, their kids are being fed by servicing those local businesses and helping them by being the trusted local experts. So it's more than just being able to conduct business online. It's being able to conduct business at your physical location and the first question is, are you even open? And I'm even asking that question for some things I'm thinking about buying later on today. I'm wondering Marty: There you go. George: I've gotta go to this one store; do I drive across the city? Or do I try phoning them to see if they're even open? Conclusion George: I get beat up sometimes because I'm always the glass is half full, but what I see this as, we've been preaching the gospel of online marketing for a number of years, now we have this thing that's happened and the business owner may be ready to buy now, like they buy when they're ready and the need has now met the demand, has now met the solution that can be provided, it's a bit of a perfect storm and are you hearing that as well from your clients and from the people in your circle? Marty: Yeah, it is the perfect storm, that's a great analogy. It's the confluence of all these things happening and everyone needing to respond in kind and while I certainly, my comments seem very focused on website, I would also give equal importance to having an effective social media presence as well. I just saw a stat, not that many months ago from a really reputable source, the GlobalWebIndex and I was absolutely stunned to see that more than 50% of the search for products is now actually done in social channels, I was absolutely blown away. George: Some incredible stats. Marty: Yeah, it is. And so, so now, as a small business you really should be thinking about all the swimming lanes that you need to be in, probably occupy the whole pool, you can't just swim in one swimming lane, you gotta jump in and swim in all of them. George: Well, Marty, I'm sure that you and I could talk marketing for hours and hours. The purpose of having you on the podcast was number one, to applaud your efforts, number two, to talk about the Adopt a Business initiative. If there are organizations that are listening that would like to learn more about this and happen to be in the geographical area, or maybe we have some listeners in other countries that are thinking about, "That's a great idea. Could I get a hold of Marty and learn more about what he's been doing?" How would folks get a hold of you? Marty: Well, there's a couple of ways. Number one, you can just go to Sherpamarketing.ca and in our masthead rotators, there's a link to the Adopt a Business Challenge landing pages, but also feel free to drop me a line either connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at Marty@sherpamarketing.ca. I take great pride in returning phone calls and emails, so if you reach out to me, I guarantee you that I'll get back to you. George: Marty, we really appreciate you, having you on the broadcast today. Congratulations on this amazing initiative. Thank you for doing your part to help protect local during this time, and we appreciate the insights today here on the Conquer Local Podcast. Marty: Thanks so much George. George: We always like having guests that put their money where their mouth is. Marty stepped up to the table, put $50,000 worth of services out there for local businesses to use, to help them survive and thrive on the back-end of what will be, it's called “the new normal,” there's air quotes for you, of COVID-19. Some really interesting feedback there where we're basically looking at protecting that local economy. We came up with the phrase, protect local as something that our partners could use to go out and help those local businesses. Marty is really putting his money where his mouth is and working with those local enterprises, to help them to survive and then to create that path for what business will look like as we come out of this thing — 11 partners putting up over $200,000 in marketing services for SMBs, it's a great initiative. And imagine, if we could take the listeners of this podcast and each one of us were to go out and put that sort of initiative out there to help local businesses in our community, we're not able to save lives, I love this line. He said, "We're not able to save lives, but we might be able to save a livelihood." And it really brings home what we've been doing every single day in the world of conquering local, we're helping local businesses conquer that local marketing and local sales, so that they can help feed their kids. I love having that mission, and love being able to bring a guest like Marty Fisher with that vision that he had, and how he's making it come true to help local businesses. Thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local Podcast, my name is George Leith. I'll see you when I see you.
We encourage Website Standard/Pro users to access the product through Business App and the product dashboard. However, if there is a user that requires WordPress Admin access (via www.domainname.com/wp-admin) without access to the product dashboard, you can provide it to them by toggling off the Hide Advanced Login. To stop hiding this advanced login, navigate to the Advanced Tools section within the Website Standard/Pro dashboard. Next, toggle off (it will turn grey) the toggle under Hide Advanced Login. Once it is turned off a user can log in using www.domainname.com/wp-admin.
Due to limitations with Google Business Profile (GBP) only allowing only 1 page connection at a time, you cannot switch between two different GBP pages by following the "Edit Connections" workflow within Social Marketing. Attempting to do so will display the error "You can only have one GBP location connected per account." Within Social Marketing > Settings > Connect Accounts, click the "Remove" button on the GBP you'd like to disconnect. Once the GBP page is disconnected, you may come back to this page and connect the new Google Business Profile page you would like to use.
What is it? All Vendasta customers now have access to "More Hours" found in the new Business Profile tab in Local SEO. This tab gives you and your clients the ability to edit business profile data within the Local SEO product. The "More Hours" will display category-specific attributes, so for example, restaurant clients can now set things like delivery, drive-through, takeout, and pick-up hours. Please note that this new syncing field can only be found in the Local SEO Business Profile tab. The remainder of business data can still be found and edited in Partner Center under Businesses → Accounts → Edit account. How will it work? In the Business Profile tab in Local SEO, navigate to the "Hours" tab to view and manage "More Hours."
Google, unfortunately, restricts certain businesses from making posts. This is a system-level restriction on Google's end, and it does not matter whether you post from either Social Marketing or directly from Google Business Profile itself. Some Google Business Profile categories or types that are unable to post are as follows: Hotel (and all related categories) Gun Shop Adult Entertainment Alcohol-related categories This list isn't comprehensive as Google has not made a list of restricted categories public. We have found that if a business falls within one of the categories listed under prohibited content, it's unlikely to support posts.
Even when business listing information is corrected, those accurate results can be eroded over time by user-generated content and other incorrect data. The business needs to stick with Listing Distribution to ensure they maintain optimal local SEO results. As we expand our offering to publish other information to appropriate sources, businesses will be encouraged to stay on the system. Some of the benefits of doing so are as follows: On Listings: Publicly available business data is created from yellow pages, white pages directory assistance, and phone company records. This data may not be the same data the business itself believes is important. Once you cancel Listing Distribution, there's a chance their data will revert to these out-of-date sources. In keeping the subscription active, we submit that information to the data aggregators frequently to ensure the data remains up-to-date. Consistency is key: search engines look for consistent information around the web (among other things) in presenting search results. If the data begins to revert to old data, the listings may become inconsistent and you may lose searchability. Managing that business listing information is a process, meaning that the data needs to be managed over a long period for the sources to both trust and use the information provided. Think of it as a daily vitamin - not a quick fix. Listing Distribution helps build a “Citation Effect” by having multiple sources consume and use the same consistent business data. This continues to build after the first year, as new publishers go to these reputable data providers. Two primary positive outcomes occur: Google’s WebCrawler finds the same information in multiple places, adds more confidence to their business data, and Good backlinks are created, with more referring sources to the business’ website creating better search engine optimization SEO. On Reviews: Reviews are becoming increasingly important in the world of search. Review score, source diversity, volume, and recency are all very important factors. Just because their review score may be improved now doesn't mean there isn't a risk of disgruntled customers leaving negative reviews in the future. Review management takes time and effort. Like a security system, they're also buying the peace of mind that their online reputation is being protected. When a business decides to discontinue Listing Distribution, they are taking a big risk. This leaves their listings on the data providers open to change, which may result in hundreds of incorrect listings and citations over time. Therefore, although Listing Distribution takes time to create and update listings, it’s important to understand it as a sort of insurance policy. Without Listing Distribution, the client may experience negative outcomes. Ultimately, by continuing with Listing Distribution, your clients have a proactive reputation strategy rather than a reactive one.
When it comes to your client’s website, design matters. But so do usability, support, speed, security, and more! Luckily, Website Pro is full of amazing features that take care of all those things for you. Join us for an in-depth training session on Website Pro and the businesses of selling websites! We will take you through an overview of the product, discuss how to resell the product, and how to maximize revenue from your clients.
What does your roadmap to achieving sales success look like? Let’s find out on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast as we chat with Wayne Moloney, an Australian Business Growth Specialist. Wayne has four decades of global experience in a wide range of businesses from regions like Australia, Asia, and Europe and has assisted them in achieving revenue and profit. After leaving his corporate career, Wayne spent over 15 years helping B2B organizations across Asia-pacific to tackle their business growth challenges by adopting sound sales and business strategies in training their Sales teams and applying LEAN principles for sustainable sales success. He is the co-author of the award-winning, best-selling B2B Sales Novel, The Wentworth Prospect, and is the author of his second book titled, Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success. Tune in to learn more about Wayne, his experience, and the archetypes he developed. Conquer Local is presented by Vendasta. We have proudly served 5.5+ million local businesses through 60,000+ channel partners, agencies, and enterprise-level organizations. Learn more about Vendasta, and we can help your organization or learn more about Vendasta’s Affiliate Program and how our listeners (like yourself) make up to $10,000 off referrals. Are you an entrepreneur, salesperson, or marketer? Then, keep the learning going in the Conquer Local Academy. Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success Introduction George: This is the Conquer Local podcast, a show about billion-dollar sales leaders, marketers leading local economic growth, and entrepreneurs that have created their dream organizations. They wanna share their secrets, giving you the distilled version of their extraordinary feats. Our hope is with the tangible takeaways from each episode, you can rewire, rework, and reimagine your business. I'm George Leith, and on this episode, we welcome Wayne Moloney. Wayne is an Australian business growth specialist with a global background spanning four decades. He's helped a diverse range of businesses in Australia, Asia, and Europe to achieve their revenue and profit goals. Since leaving his corporate career, Wayne has spent over 15 years helping B2B organizations across the Asia-Pac tackle their business growth challenges through the development and implementation of sound sales and business strategies, developing sales teams, and applying lean principles for sustainable sales success. Wayne is the co-author of an award-winning, bestselling B2B sales novel, "The Wentworth Prospect." Wayne is also the author of a second book entitled, "Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success." We'll dig into both of these books and see what Wayne is all about. Coming up next on the Conquer Local podcast. George: Wayne Moloney, joining us all the way from beautiful Sydney, Australia. And Wayne, we always love talking to our friends down under. I know it's the middle of winter there right now, so we won't even get into the whole weather thing. Let's just talk about sales 'cause I know that's one of your favorite subjects. Wayne, in the intro, I talked about your books, "The Wentworth Prospect" and "Your Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success," but let's talk about the book that you co-authored, which everything that we've researched looks like this is where it all started for Wayne Moloney when that global brand started getting built. Wayne: Yeah. Look, I had written a couple of books, but I'd always wanted to write a book on strategic selling. And I'm really looking forward to chatting with you about this, George, because I love the style of your podcast. But when we started looking at strategic selling, I've done a lot of work over the years with a good friend of mine, John Smibert. And John had developed a strategic selling process and methodology called Edvance, and I saw that as being something that would make a great book. And I approached John and said, "Look, let's do this. Let's get something out there on strategy." And he said, "Yeah, but why don't we write it as a novel?" And that sort of took me back a little bit at first because I'd never thought of writing the book as a novel myself. And John and I sat down over, you know, probably numerous cups of coffee, and we brainstormed this. And we thought that if we write it as a novel, we can approach things and teach things a hell of a lot differently to what the traditional textbook, handbook style of sales book or sales manual if you like, as I like to refer to them. So we approached that, and we started out. Very quickly, George realized that we might be damn good sales consultants, but we weren't great novelists. So we had quite a few false starts on that, and it took us a little while to really get going. And yeah, that was where we worked into it. George: Well, Wayne, the minute that I was researching and getting up to speed on you after the team found you out there and brought you onto the radar, I was thinking about that novel approach. And, you know, the first thought came to my mind was Patrick Lencioni's "Five Dysfunctions of a Team." You know, one of the best business management books out there, but it's written as a fable and a novel. And then I started thinking about an episode that we have from about three years ago with Carson Heady from Microsoft, where he wrote the book "Salesman on Fire." And I'm like, this is a brilliant concept because you can do a lot more than if you're in a factual environment to paint out some of those stories and those scenarios. Wayne: Exactly. When you mentioned that, a good friend of ours, Tony Hughes, wrote a book called "The Joshua Principle," approached in a similar manner. But I go back to my engineering days, and I read a book through that period called "The Goal" by a guy called Eli Goldratt. And that was the same. It was about lean manufacturing, but it was written as a story. And of course, you know, you've got the evergreen "E-Myth" by Michael Gerber, which is done the same way. So the more we thought about it, the more we realized that we could do so much more by telling a story around complex B2B sales. And we could by just saying, "Here's the methodology." You know, you go step to step to step. We wanted to put a lot more into it than that, George. George: You know, if you would've told me 25 years ago or 30 years ago, when I started in sales, that I would be talking to former engineers in the sales business, you know, it just wasn't something that was considered back in the day. But you bring rigor to the conversation. You know, engineers are process and line it all up. And, you know, sometimes salespeople are, I don't know if you have this in Australia, but I've been called a cowboy a few times. And I don't ride a lot of horses now. I used to, but not anymore. And it's that idea of, you know, cowboys just figure out a way to stay alive and be cowboys. And engineers in the sales business, though, is really changing the game. Are we aligned on that? Wayne: Yeah, absolutely. Look, I, like probably I'd say 90% of salespeople, I didn't actually enter my career thinking I was going to be a salesperson. I went and studied engineering. I was a trainee engineer. And really through fate, I ended up into or leaving engineering. I had a disagreement as a young, I guess, rather brash and cocky guy in my youth and had a disagreement with the managing director of the owner of the small company I was with. And he suggested it might be better if I found a different career path. And I've been forever thankful for that. And through a good friend of mine, his dad introduced me to sales. And that was it. That was where it started. And I guess, you know, my cockiness went through to being insisting on being called a sales engineer in my early days because back then, I still didn't have the, I guess, the respect for salespeople that I've got now. And I very quickly learned that it's a great career and, you know, if you approach it the right way, I applied my engineering skills and, you know, I've applied that right through. I learned lean process and lean manufacturing. And I very quickly learned that that could be applied into sales, and I've done that right throughout my career. George: Well, I have a question around that, is, you know, we bring folks on like you that have been, you know, had a great career, and you've built a hell of a business, and you've worked with organizations. How did you go through that journey where you moved up, you worked globally in a few continents helping businesses? And how did you really dial in this formula for helping B2B organizations achieve business growth? Wayne: Yeah, that's a good question, George. I mentioned lean. And I actually started applying lean into all areas of business, whether it was in my sales career, or whether it was in my general management managing director career in business. I always had a business development focus. But if you look at lean, there's three basic principles to lean. It's adding value, it's reducing waste, and it's continual improvement. And when I sat back and started to look at how I was approaching selling, I was actually doing exactly that. I was always looking at the outcome for the client. That just because of my background in engineering, I always look for a positive outcome. Reducing waste became fairly obvious. And then that continual improvement, that continual review of how I approach something. And these days it's referred to as win-loss reviews, but I always looked at the end of a sales process or a sales I was going through with a client or a prospect and analyzed that at the end, and then said, "How could I improve that?" And I've applied that to businesses I've run, to sales teams I've run. So I've always taken that approach of process, adding value at each step of the way. And one of the things that used to amuse me, you know, I'd get, even in my positions in management, I would get calls from salespeople saying, "Oh, I'm just checking in." Well, you know, what was the purpose of that call? Where was there any value being added? All they were doing was wasting my time because they didn't have a process, and they didn't have a purpose for that call. So that was my approach right throughout my 40-plus years of sales and business management, is always taking that lean approach. And I've done that to every business I've worked with. And it's really interesting that, when you apply a process, I remember I took over a company in Hong Kong. And when I went in there as the managing director, I inherited a pipeline of 200% of target, which obviously I was quite excited about. Until I sat down with each of the people and said, "Okay, how did you qualify those?" Every person had a different way of qualifying. So I put forward the approach that I take in qualifying, had them all go back out and requalify, and we dropped down to 80% of target. What then happened is we closed 90% of 80%. And we then never missed target again for the rest of the time I was with that organization because we had a uniform, collaborative approach to qualification. That was all about value, and it was all about getting rid of the waste. And the waste in that pipeline was opportunities that weren't real. So we worked through that. It's pretty simple, George, you know? It's a matter of just doing the right thing by the client and getting focus on your approach. George: Well, and, you know, having, I'm sure you had some sort of a rubric that you put in place, and you continued to iterate on it to get it right, and maybe take the guesswork out of building out a pipeline. And I'm sure those were three of the items. One thing I wanted to ask about, and I'm fascinated by these two components: the advocates and the change agents. And you call these archetypes. I'd love to have you educate me on this because I think there's something here that I can learn a lot about. Wayne: Okay. Look, just on writing the book, I failed to mention one guy that was really important, a guy called Jeff Clulow. He's the third author, if you like. Jeff's been a good friend of mine for many years who I've ridden motorcycles with and had a great deal of fun with. And he comes out of an advertising and copywriting background. And he's a very good novelist, so we engaged. When John and I found out that we weren't, we engaged him and we brought him in. And we started, in writing the book, looking at the politics, the personalities, and what happens that you can't directly control. And we realized that you could actually break these down. If you go back to Carl Jung, he broke down 12 archetypes, or defined 12 archetypes, from a psychological perspective. That was too many, so we looked at it and we broke it down to six types of people that we believed you could encounter in a sale. And we put those into two groups. We put them into those that we saw as our change agents, those people that had the power, the politics to be able to influence a change within their organization. And we then looked at advocates. And advocates were people that could be helpful or, in fact, against you in a sale, but all of those people we needed to look at. In the change agents, we had the inquisitor. And that was the person that focused on interrogating your proposal. I think we've all come across them. You know, quite often, they're the financial controller. We looked at the sage. The sage was the person that was powerful in being able to communicate within the organization. And they would communicate ideas. And then we had the champion. And the champion was the person that every salesperson had to go to. They were interested in getting the job done. They had the power, they had the influence, and they were able to bring people together to be able to get decisions made and things happening. On the other hand, the advocates that we spoke about, we had the mercenary. And that was the person that was only interested in things for their own purpose. And we had the accomplice. And the accomplice is someone that might be able to help you, but doesn't have that power. And we had the messenger. And the messenger was the person that probably does most of the gossiping around the water cooler or the coffee machine. And each of those people are important in developing a complex sale. You need to get to your champion, but it's how do you utilize or minimize the influence on the others that are involved in it? And that's why writing a story was so powerful. Because we could actually bring out each of those personalities, and we could bring out how Sue, our champion, our hero, sorry, our hero in the book, was able to work with her team to build the relationships with the change agents and also utilize the messenger and the accomplice, but minimize the impact of the mercenary and those that were against her in the sale. George: You know what, I'm just sitting here because I'm working on a deal right now with some of our team, and every one of those archetypes were in a boardroom yesterday that I was in a meeting with. And, you know, one of the things that we've been working on recently on these complex sales, and then you talk about it as well in the book, is having a map. And mapping those folks out and starting to really understand their org chart on their side. Who's in the team? Who are the people? Because you're right. Like, one of those individuals could scuttle the entire deal if down the road, you know, you're just about to get the proof of concept across the line, now we're gonna ink the deal, and we forget about that mercenary that's been lurking in the background just trying to figure out a way to get rid of this thing 'cause it doesn't serve their purpose. Wayne: Absolutely. You're absolutely spot on. We talk about people mapping and identifying… We've just built a simple quadrant. Along the horizontal, we have relationship. And on the vertical, we have influence. So in the bottom left-hand corner, you've got low relationship, low influence. If you've got people there that have got a low influence, you're not really focused on improving the relationship. But the objective is with the most important people, the champions and the change agents, is to move them into that top right-hand quadrant, where you know they've got high influence, but you then need to build a high, strong relationship. And, you know, it's cliche, but it's that relationship of trust and respect, and you need to move up there. And that person needs to help you build a collaborative environment within the organization. And, you know, collaboration doesn't mean that everyone gets what they want. But, you know, to have a collaborative relationship, it means that everyone can accept the final decision. So, you know, not necessarily everyone getting 100%, but everyone getting a decision that they're comfortable with, they can live with going forward. George: And I find it fascinating that applying lean principles, and I thought lean was what I was aspiring to do when I was losing weight years ago, not, you know, the way that you… You know, being a salesperson, I was never exposed to it. And then I end up at a software company. And we had a lot of people that have that discipline and have studied on it. And so I've been exposed to it, but I find it just fascinating when I speak to sales experts like yourself that came from the engineering space. You know, Mark Roberge, one of the more famous ones, on his sales acceleration formula. And then he's got the HubSpot brand behind him where, you know, everybody knows how well that went. But just by applying some of those components. In fact, we had Mark just recently here at our Conquer Local Connect, and we've had him as an alumni, as a guest on the show. And your book, like, "The Wentworth Project" should be required reading by every salesperson. I'm just telling you right now. Wayne: Yeah. Well, I appreciate that. And by the same token, I believe that things like Michael Gerber's "E-Myth" should be essential reading to anyone going out and starting their own business. You know, Eli Goldratt's "The Goal." It just goes across so many areas of business. And that's one of the things that I've always worked at, is being able to get collaboration between departments and organizations or companies that I've run. And, you know, books like that just help so much. And the other thing is it gets people reading a novel because the novel in itself is enjoyable. You know, it may not be a best seller like, you know, Brown or Falode or any of those guys, but it's an enjoyable read. And that gets people who don't normally sit down and read textbooks or handbooks get involved. George: No, I 100% agree. And the other thing that I like is sometimes, it's not all the time, and I'm sure we're gonna be like-minded on this, but sometimes the audiobook, if the author is actually good at reading and good at articulating the story, those can be very, very fascinating as well. So let's talk about your second book, "The Roadmap to Achieving Sales Success." Wayne: Yeah. George: You wrote that thing back in 2018. If you could rewrite it, is there anything you missed out in the book? I love asking that question of authors. Wayne: Yeah. Look, I wrote that book more for, I had so much information on sales that I just wanted to document it. And as I was doing that, I thought, "Okay, there's a book here." But one of the things that really frustrates me in sales, George, is everyone looking for that silver bullet. You know, if you go onto LinkedIn and, you know, we talk about the snake oil salesman back in, you know, in the '20s and that, and we've got snake oil salesman on LinkedIn now saying, you know, "Do this and you don't have to do anything else. You're gonna close the deal." You know, I'm calling BS on that one. People are forgetting the fundamentals of sales. And I wrote that book to take people back to all of the fundamentals that still work. Yep, take new technology and adopt it and adapt it to how you sell. But that's what I would do different. I would spend a little bit more time in there on talking about how to adopt and adapt the technology without missing the fundamentals. And the other thing that I would really include now, and especially after I've, you know, been involved in writing "The Wentworth Prospect," is I'd include a chapter on storytelling. You know, a once-upon-a-time chapter. Because I look back over my career and, you know, storytelling's the new black in sales. You know, you looked on LinkedIn and everyone's talking about storytelling. But I've been doing, you know, I've been talking about stories and using those anecdotes right throughout my career. And I would have a chapter in there on storytelling, definitely. And even on the technology side, getting salespeople whose companies don't have the technology to make sure they look for technology that will help them as an individual. And that may be even as simple as a free CRM that they could use themselves. So I guess the answer is technology and storytelling are the two areas I'd include now. George: Well, and I agree 100%, but I wanna interrogate something that you said there because I think there's a bigger discussion here. I'm reading a lot, and I'm feeling a lot when I work with organizations that a new skill set if they don't have it today, and that is the ability to adapt and the ability to learn. And if you're dealing with an organization where they've never, they've been doing the same thing forever, they've never had to adapt, they've never had to learn new things, it's like a fricking brick wall. I'm sure you've ran into that. Wayne: Look, I'm working with a client at the moment, and it's more on a general management than sales side of things, and the resistance to change in the organization is killing it at the moment. And in fact, I sat down and I had a serious meeting with the managing director, owner of the business yesterday and said, "Look, unless you are prepared to make some really hard decisions here, which may mean some collateral damage among the people that have been with you for a while, you're not gonna change the business, you know?" Old ways don't open new doors. So you've got to make changes, and you've got to adapt. And, you know, I was only reading yesterday on LinkedIn a friend of mine wrote about seeing a survey where 80% of people responded that they like change. I've never seen that sort of stat before. People do not like change. And that's when I was talking about collaboration. You know, you need to get a consensus as you build collaboration. And that consensus, as I said, is not about 100% agreement, but living with something that you're able to, you know, to accept. George: Well, and the reason that they're answering 80% on adaptability is that they've read that, you know, IQ, yeah, you've gotta have an IQ. EQ, you gotta be a human and understand emotion. But the adaptability quotient is now something that people are measuring for in that scorecard as well. So it's, you know, are you smart enough? Do you understand people enough? Because we're in the people business. And then let's measure you on how good you are at adapting. And now we'll get rid of that fake news on the 80%. Wayne: Yeah. And, you know, like any survey, it all depends. You know, you ask a question and the, you know, the answer is always it all depends because you can't go in and put all of the situation around it. And, you know, I think I actually referred to collaboration when I meant consensus earlier as well, but, you know, that's it. You've gotta get that consensus. And, you know, a good manager understands how to build consensus within an organization. And that's be it a sales manager, be it a project manager on a sales team, the sales leader. You've got to build consensus around that. And that's the only way to do it. And people need to learn to adapt. And it's really difficult, George. It's something that, especially people that have been within an organization for a long time. I look at startups, and I've been involved in a number of them over the years. The people that are there when the company starts, the people you need for that startup, are not going to be the people you need to take it through the seven stages, as I define it, of success of an organization. George: No, 100%. And we appreciate you sharing all of this with us, Wayne. If people wanna learn more about you and your organization and the books, I'm sure there's a portal there that we can get more Wayne Moloney. Wayne: Yeah. Look, there's waynemoloney.com. And that's M-O-L-O-N-E-Y. We've got the books backed by a website, which goes into more in-depth of the process and methodology that we use. And that's Edvance, E-D-V-A-N-C-E, dot sale. And of course, LinkedIn, George. You know, as long as people back it up with a bit of an intro when they ask me to connect with them, I will definitely do that and engage with them. But if I just get one of these random ones, unfortunately, there's so many coming through. Very few of them get a response, mate. George: Come on, Wayne. I love those, where it's like, hey, how are you doing? I wanna connect with you. And the very next thing is buy my shit. Wayne: Yeah, I know. I got one yesterday from some guy saying he heard me on a podcast that I'd never heard of. George: Well, maybe at some point you did a podcast one day with that folk. Maybe it's a deep fake, Wayne. It could be a deep fake. Well, Wayne, I appreciate you joining us. And, you know, there's a lot there in this episode. There's a lot in the books. I'm a big fan, and it's great having you on the show. And appreciate all of the knowledge bombs that you were dropping in the last 20 minutes or so. Thanks for doing that. Wayne: Thanks, George. Been a pleasure, mate. Looking forward to hearing this and more of your great podcast. George: Have a great day. Appreciate your time. Wayne: Thank you. Cheers. Conclusion George: What a great episode from Wayne. I always love learning when it comes to improving the way that we can build sales organizations and better communicate with customers. Here's your takeaway. I think you already know what I'm gonna talk about. The archetypes. I had to frigging Google it to make sure that I was ready for the episode. But here's what we're looking at. Six types of people that you could encounter in sales. And then they've divided them into two groups. And God, it's simple, but I just love it when we get a formula like this that's simple because we can start working immediately with it. We've got the change agents, and you've got the inquisitor, who is the person that asks a lot of questions. Usually has a spreadsheet somewhere around them at any one point in time. Very detail oriented. Then you have this concept of a sage. And the sage, we need to look for the sage. They're the communicator. They're the person that can influence in the organization. And they usually have their fingers in a lot of different pies. Sage, very important. The champion. They're the one that's running around, saying, "We need to do this." Or, they might sometimes be the person that says, "We're not doing it because I'm the champion, and I know what I wanna do." So you need to find that champion and you need to keep them on side. Then the advocates. And they're either with you, or they're the reason you're not getting the commission check. The mercenary. It's all about me. Just ask me. The accomplice. I'm working with the mercenary, so it's all about the mercenary, and I'm helping them. And then the messenger. So all three of these, actually, mercenary, I don't mind them, 'cause if I can get them on side, they're gonna be sneaky, and they're gonna run around and figure out ways to get the deal done. So mercenary can actually be a positive thing, too. The accomplice piece, they're in there building that consensus. Really important piece. And then the messenger, well, they're not just gossiping around the water cooler. They're whispering in all sorts of people's different ears. And they're saying, "I think that's a really good idea if they happen to be in the meeting, or they happen to be involved." These archetypes, you know, when I was listening to Wayne explain them to me and when I've done the previous research in the book, I'm just like, this stuff is brilliant. When you start thinking about that level of influence that they might have and how connected you are to them in the relationship that you have with either the prospect or the customer. That is your key takeaway, although there were a plethora of items that you could take and put to use from this episode. So thanks to Wayne Moloney for joining us. If you liked Wayne's episode discussing achieving success in sales, let's continue the conversation. Check out these two episodes: 231, The Man Who Eats, Lives, and Breathes Sales. I was mentioning it earlier in the podcast. Carson Heady from Microsoft. What a great episode that was. Go back and have a listen to that. Or episode 521 from season five, The Future of Customer Experience with Steven Van Belleghem. Please subscribe and leave us a review. And thanks for joining us this week on the Conquer Local podcast. My name is George Leith. I'll see you when I see you.
It's not one size fits all anymore, it's all about thinking like an App. The best package to sell to a business is the one the business needs. On this weeks episode we have Neal Polachek, Analyst and Advisor to the Board Advisors, joining us. Are ROI's BS? Neal thinks there are better ways to measure a businesses success on their investment. Business owners are frustrated with all the different marketing tactics when they want to focus on what they do best, their business. Neal talks about the Baby Boomer generation slowly transitioning into retirement and developing an exit strategy. He explains how a different sales pitch is needed to a business owner close to exiting the business world and to someone who is taking over a business. Engaging the end consumer should be approached in an engaging format, like an App. No need to physically build one but thinking about the customer journey and experience. Introduction George: You know, when I started Vendasta seven years ago and started to build out sales organization, Brendan King, our CEO, came to me and said, ''You gotta go to this convention.'' And I was actually excited to go to a convention. Then as the years went by, convention started to become this love-hate thing that I had. I either loved them because there was some really good content at them or I hated them because there was no leads and the content I'd heard before and there was horrible speakers that they had not vetted or coached. Anyways, I'm getting into the reasons why I don't like conventions or conferences. Then I met this guy named Neal Polachek and Neal has been advising SaaS companies over the years. He was involved in the Kelsey Group and BIA/Kelsey who put on some great, amazing conventions and conferences. And he has started this new thing where he's out speaking to local business people, man after my own heart, and he is telling them that they need to think like an app. Neal Polachek is coming up next on the Conquer Local podcast. Hey Neal, welcome to the Conquer Local podcast. Neal: Thank you, George. George: It's good to have you on the show. I wanna talk a little bit about the work that you're doing with various SaaS companies. You were advising these organizations and you're involved with the, the senior leadership. You know, I wanna jump right into it and put you on the hot seat. What are you hearing from these executives and leaders of these organizations when it comes to sales? The challenges that their sales organizations are having. If you were to just distill it down into one thing that you hear over and over and over again, and I'm looking for the problem, I'm looking for the challenge, what would that challenge be? Neal: I think the challenge is that, you know, even if you roll back the tape, even a decade, these business owners were getting calls from a lot of people trying to sell them media solutions and advertising solutions. And now a decade later, many are still selling media and advertising solutions, but now there's a whole another layer of people trying to sell them SaaS solution. And what I think I hear most often is, and this is really being heard from the merchants more than the owners of the companies, but you know, the business owners, they're frustrated because when people get on the phone and start talking to them, they don't really know much about that business owner's business. And I think that we saw this, you know, when I was helping the folks at BuzzBoard, we were trying to bring some more data to the sales representatives so that they could have a more compelling conversation with the business owner. I think that's still a big challenge out in the marketplace. And I also think that, you know, while you and I could talk about cloud solutions and SaaS and, you know, talk that language, you know, all day long, these business owners are really worried about payroll and finding good help and fulfilling on the promise that they're trying to deliver to their customers. And SaaS and cloud and all that stuff that maybe is kind of interesting to private equity and VCs and folks like us, it's not terribly interesting to these guys. So I think it's the challenge of getting these people who are selling to these business owners to really focus on how they can help them in language that they can help them. Do you hear that often? The Elevator Pitch George: Listen, you're preaching to the choir and I appreciate you bringing this up because I think it is the big challenge. We've got amazing new pieces of technology and with anything that's amazing and new, salespeople and marketers immediately go, we got a feature benefit to them. We've got to say, this is awesome stuff. Let's take them through how awesome it is. And the business owner's sitting back there going, "You know, I care about marketing about as much as I always have cared, which is very little because I'm concerned about making payroll and then my staff is ripping me off" and it has never been more important for a sales...This is my bold statement but I'm looking to see if you agree with me, it's never been more important for the salesperson to have a compelling elevator pitch that's simple and then be able to speak to the objection, because there always is gonna be an objection and you need to be able to speak to that. Once those two pieces are in place, and I'm not saying that that's simple, then you raise the confidence level of the salesperson. And that's really what we need to do at a leadership level. Neal: I agree. But I think the third piece of that is to have some domain knowledge. The person on the phone pitching the business owner has to have some context to understand those objections. Why does the medical provider object differently from the home services provider? If you don't understand the differences in those categories and those industries and can't connect with that business owner because you don't know the particulars, then I think you're really challenged. And I think this comes to sort of the notion of heard a lot, but I haven't seen much of it and verticalization because I think a lot of sales organizations wanna sort of boil the ocean and be vertical at the same time. And as soon as they start to verticalize, they go, oh, well there's an opportunity over there and it's really hard. It takes a lot of discipline. George: Glad you brought that up because a week ago I was with an organization that we work with, speaking of verticalization, here's what's happened, is there are entire organizations that have done this. Their entire revenue motion and business proposition is around solving the dentist’s problem. And that's what makes it so hard for a local seller that may have worked at the newspaper, the radio station, whatever it might be going...or even the local agency going in to see that client is the people that are on the phone that just deal with dentists have great case studies. They have the domain knowledge, they've got the solutions that could solve the problems. And, you know, I think you and I called them in the space, pure play, but we're in there training the salesperson, I believe it was that event that you and I were at in London where I was speaking at Google and we went through the whole thing and one of the CEO's put their hand up and said, ''Hey George, what's the best package that's selling on the street?'' And I was kind of like, ''You didn't hear my presentation for the last 20 minutes.'' It's the package the customer needs to solve their problem. You know, this one size fits all thing is a recipe for disaster because somebody else is gonna come in with a better solution. Neal: Yeah. And I think that's the crux of it, is one size fits all is nice when you lay it out in an Excel spreadsheet and do the modeling of it to get your round of financing. But it just doesn't really work that well in on the street in reality. And that's what's really hard for a lot of companies to adjust to the reality when, oh, the spreadsheet, you know, says we should be doing X number of closes per day across all these various categories. And it's hard. I also think that, you know, I have a view that we're going through a generational shift in the next three to five years, when a whole lot of business owners are having to take the sort of time to say, should I modernize my business today because I have all these opportunities to buy these SaaS things in this the software? Or should I wait until I get ready to sell this thing in three to five years? Because there is a big, large number of baby boomers who will in the next three to seven years sell their businesses, whether it's a dental practice, an auto repair shop, a window covering shop, what have you. These owners are sitting around saying to themselves, "Well, do I really need to put in this new technology and pull my hair out to get it to work and all that stuff, or should I just wait for the next guy to do it?" George: Well, you and I both have ran into this over the last number of years when we're working with media companies. You walk into the room, you get the sales team sitting there and you just point out the three people that are two years away from retirement and say there's no use training in those people because they're just riding the wave. Neal: Well, and that's on the seller side, George, but there's a whole buyer side that's going through that same thing. George: What you're saying, if I can read you correctly and I'm not disagreeing, I actually agree with you 100% is there is a different sales pitch to the customer that is looking to exit in X number of years than there is to the buyer that might be the new business owner or is, you know, under the age of 35 and is tech savvy. Now, you've gotta have a different pitch depending upon the type of prospect because they're...again, their needs are different. Why Modernize? Neal: Yeah, that's what I'm saying. And their willingness to engage in the process of modernizing, so to speak, putting all this technology in place, their willingness to do that is very different I think. And I think the pitch to the owner who's looking to exit or sell their practice or business in three to seven years is you're gonna get a better premium, you're gonna get a better price for your business if it's modernized, you do the modernization, than if you let it languish and the next owner has to do that. You know, my view is these business owners do need to modernize their business now, and in three to seven years it'll fundamentally be a better business and they'll be able to sell it for a better price. Now, that's a piece of research I want to try and do and I've been wanting to try and do for a long time. I believe that that is going to be the case. George: I think you've hit the nail right on the head is that there's a higher valuation if you adopt these new practices. In fact, your exit is going to be hurt if you don't do it. Neal: That's my contention. And I believe that over time we're gonna see that play out in premiums that are paid for small, medium-sized businesses that have modernized because it's, like, if I put copper in my house, in the plumbing and I put insulation in my house, I should be able to get a better return on that, you know, than if I don't. I mean, people say you get money out of the bathroom you remodel. So same thing. George: So, you know, the next question, and I'm not sure if you're a watcher of Tony Robbins, but Tony Robbins went on this whole tangent here the last couple of years around, you know, the exit of your business and you know, it makes sense because the population is aging. You know, we're gonna have this mass exodus of business owners. They're gonna either turn it over to their kids, they're gonna sell the business. We need to be thinking about an exit. And I remember listening to a podcast or reading some material where the first thing that you have to break through with that business owner, they didn't start, they started the business so long ago. And they've been going to business every day to do what they do because that's their life and that they haven't been thinking about an exit strategy. You're gonna walk in and say, "Now you need to transition to the cloud and here's all the things you need to be competing." At the heart of it, it is an exit strategy and evaluation discussion that they've never even had before. What's your advice on how to have that conversation or even start that conversation? Neal: I think that if I were selling to those types of business owners, I'd start to find examples of business owners that have started to do that. I often refer to my friend Dan, the dentist. This is a real life person. He bought a bunch of new technology for his practice. He's about my age. He's gonna retire in three to seven years, you know he's gonna exit. I said, ''Dan, why have you made that investment?'' And he said, ''Because while it may not benefit me directly today, it makes my employees and my staff feel like they're part of a modern business. And if that happens, then they give better patient experience and it all eventually leads to me getting a better return when I sell my practice.'' It's those, it's like, you know, maybe the business owner doesn't wanna modernize it for themselves individually, but they probably should be thinking about their employees who wanna work for a forward-leaning business rather than a stagnant, a following business. So that's one way I would think about how to position it with these sort of business owners that are scratching their head, wondering what to do. Sell the benefits of their employees getting the benefits. And then if the employees are happy, the customer experience is better. If the customer experience is better, they can charge more. If they can charge more, they can make more money. George: I love that tactic. I don't want it to get lost on the thing that you said earlier that I really liked and that was around having some insights to go in because, you know, Dan, the dentist doesn't even know what his problems are. So if you had some sort of way to show some insights in a concise and easy to understand manner and I love tying it to the staff. So now let's dig into think like an app. I wanna learn all about it in eight minutes. What do you got for me? Tell me where this came from. Neal: I was asked by a large media company here in the US, Local iQ to go around and talk about the customer journey. They asked me to think about this late last year. I came up with this notion that what I really should be talking about to business owners is that they don't need to build an app, George, but they need to start to think about how they engage with their customers the way apps engage with us today, because the world is being run by the App world and our experiences are being defined by the App world and our expectations as consumers are being defined by the App world. So what I do is in my presentation, I take these business owners kind of through a journey of how the modern consumer is expecting to engage with them whether it's from being open all the time. I mean, you don't go to an app and the app doesn't go, "Oh sorry, we're not open. You know it's 5:00 after 5:30 sorry, leave a message on the app." Apps work 24/7/365. My United App knows my name, you know, it knows how many miles I've been flying. So these things, these apps that we're getting really comfortable engaging with are really changing the customer experience expectations out there. What I tell these business owners is they need to do the same thing. They need to not necessarily build an app because I think that's probably inappropriate for a lot of businesses. But they need to start to engage the way apps engage with us. Serve up insights. And, you know, one of the big things I talk about is tracking. Our apps do a lot of tracking, whether it's me watching the Uber driver drive to my location or somebody who has the Domino’s app watching the Domino’s pizza get built, apps are tracking stuff. Or it's the Amazon app saying the package left, the package has arrived. We're all having that expectation. So as a business owner, what data can you serve out to your customers, it doesn't have to be through an app that can tell them about the process or progress of their service or their order or what have you. Thinking like an App And so we go through a whole series of stuff and what happens is, is business owners, you know, the eyes get pretty wide and they kind of go, "Oh, so I could just do that and I would have better engagement with my customers, patients, clients." And I said, "Exactly." So I was talking to friend of mine, a pain doctor up in Ashland, Oregon. And he says, ''Well, what the heck is this ‘think like an app’ thing Neal? And I said, ''Look, you have patients, they come in here with a pain level of X over two months. Your job is to move that pain level from X down to Y, right?'' He says, ''Yeah. So what you're telling me, Neal, is that I should be sending out a message saying, 'Hey George, you came in here and your pain was a 350. Your pain is now down to 120. Here's the things we've done to do that.''' He's so he says, ''So that's what I need to do.'' I said, ''That's exactly right because now you're engaging with that patient. You're reaffirming the patient experience that you're delivering to them. You're reaffirming that you've helped them and they've been participating in the lowering of their pain.'' So it can apply to virtually every business out there and it's just a different way of thinking about, you know, how to engage with the customer. And I think it applies to agencies, it applies to virtually everybody out there. George: You're absolutely right. No, it makes a lot of sense. As we've been sitting here, I've received 16 notifications from various apps that are loaded on my iPad and my phone and, you know, I'm dismissing them because I'm paying attention to you. I'm not multitasking. I'm very focused on you, Neal. They're telling me things that are happening and it's adding to the value proposition of what I bought or what, you know, why I signed up to that app in the first place. So we are very much engaged that way as consumers. I'm going to the dentist on Friday. I was looking in the mirror this morning, I might want a bit of a cleaning. So when the dentist phones me to make sure that I show up for my appointment, which I think pretty much every dentist worth their salt does that, the reason why it's very expensive for them if we don't show up for our appointment, right. But imagine if three people had canceled their cleanings. I'm in the market for a cleaning because I'm getting closer to that appointment. They go, ''Oh by the way, we had a last minute cancellation for cleaning. Would you like one?'' I'd be like, "Yeah, I need one. You know, this is not good. These are supposed to be white and they're purple" or whatever it might be. So, you know, my point is, is that you've really hit the nail on the head. We need to look at the apps that are out there. We need to look at that experience because that's what our customers are expecting. They have been spoon-fed this experience since the App Store was created and Google Play and everything else that's out there. And now there's that level of expectation. Now the interesting thing, keep in mind, I come from a media sales background and we would walk in to the customer and say, listen, we've got 42,000 people listen to the radio station. You're looking for females, 18 to 34. I've got 40% of the market based on the last ratings period. And we're dealing with all these massive numbers. And when I dig into it, we're running this ad, we're sending it out to 50,000 people and you might get one customer in the door. Now we're in this space where we have these digital solutions and we've got to make it have some ROI. So just getting a notification isn't really making my till ring. How do you see that we're going to have to work as local business people and helping them with their marketing to really show them that ROI? What's the, you know, if you were to look at ROI and that ROI discussion, how do you think that's coming along? Because I know it's a work in progress, but do you think that we're getting better at showing ROI? Neal: I'm sure there's more data around ROI. I also think that the business owner, you know, wants the right kinds of customers. I mean, ROI is a calculation, right? You spend this, you get this back. The question is, what is this that you get back? Are those good customers? Are those customers who leave satisfied, that say good things about you to their neighbors that write good reviews about you? I mean, ROI, it has to be done. But I think the story is bigger than ROI. It's around, you know, can you deliver, once you get that customer, can you deliver a compelling experience? Because, you know, ads can drive people to businesses. There's no question. They could deliver an ROI, you know, that you can calculate. The question is how do we help these business owners take that and extend it much further, build the lifetime value, build the social proof of that business. Those things are hard to calculate. But I argue that they're almost more important than ROI, because if I just get the person into your shop and they buy something and it's a crappy experience and they don't say anything, that's kind of almost a wasted dollar. But if we can help these business owners figure out how to think like an app, how to leverage technology, how do deliver a better, more satisfying customer experience, then delivering that business owner a customer is super valuable. Conclusion George: Well Neal, always a pleasure speaking to you and learning from you and I think you have hit the nail right on the head with the think like an app message. Thanks for bringing that to the Conquer Local listeners and we look forward to seeing you when we see you out on the conference circuit this coming few months. Neal: I'm looking forward to it, George. Thanks for having me on your show today. I really appreciate it. George: So let's dig into what Neal was saying there. He's a very polite gentleman, so he didn't want to say that ROI is BS. But he does wanna say that. But here's what I think Neal is saying. We run an ad campaign and we can get you clicks and we can get you phone calls and we might even be able to get you people into the business, but it may not be the customers that you want because what business people want, are great, raving fan-type customers that will refer them to their friends and build up that corpus of people that just love the business and are advocates for it online. So you know, think like an app, just think about that for a moment. Think about all the apps that are communicating with you and then imagine the carpet store. Imagine the carpet store where you go in and you order the carpet and then it goes into this black hole and you don't know when it's coming in and when it's gonna get delivered. Or even if they set a delivery date and you get busy and you forget that the delivery date is tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Imagine if they just sent you a notification by email or by text said, "Hey, reminder, this is Joe from a carpet store. We're gonna be by there tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Here's a picture of our delivery driver. He's been with us for 14 years." Just think about that for a moment. When it comes to your business, I don't even care what business you're in. So Neal is onto something with this think like an app content that he is delivering to business people. And here's how you can prove if you're a raving fan. Have you recommended the podcast to one of your friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles? You should do so. And also if you've got feedback, I want your feedback. Come to my LinkedIn profile, George Leith on LinkedIn. Send me a message and we will connect and I love getting that intel from people that are listening to the Conquer Local podcast. My name is George Leith. I will see you when I see you.
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