704: Unleashing the Secrets of Sales Success | Doug C. Brown

Podcast Cover Image: Unleashing the Secrets of Sales Success Featuring Doug C. Brown
Podcast Cover Image: Unleashing the Secrets of Sales Success Featuring Doug C. Brown

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Ready to unlock the secrets of sales success?

Join us on the Conquer Local Podcast as we welcome Doug C. Brown, CEO of CEO Sales Strategies and a Sales Revenue Guru. Ever wondered how to achieve an 864% boost in division sales in just six months? Doug, with an impressive track record at Intuit, CBS Television, and Procter & Gamble, shares his success strategies.

From leading high-impact web seminars for Tony Robbins to pioneering the game-changing Vibitno software, Doug’s insights are valuable for scaling your business.

Tune in as he shares top-performing strategies via the Top 1% Academy, helping businesses skyrocket in revenue and profitability!

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.

Unleashing the Secrets of Sales Success


Jeff Tomlin: Welcome to the Conquer Local Podcast! Our show features successful sales leaders, marketers, thought leaders and entrepreneurs who will inspire you with their success stories. Each episode is packed with practical strategies, as our guests share their secrets to achieving their dreams. Listen in to learn the highlights of their remarkable accomplishments and get tips to revamp, rework, and reimagine your business. Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or aspiring entrepreneur, the Conquer Local Podcast is your ultimate guide to dominating your local market. Tune in now to take your business to the next level! 

I’m Jeff Tomlin and on this episode, we’re pleased to welcome Doug C. Brown. 

Doug is the CEO of CEO Sales Strategies and a Sales Revenue and Profit Growth Expert. 

He has led client award-winning, high-performance teams and pioneered profitable development programs for companies. He has advised companies such as Intuit, CBS Television, Procter & Gamble, and thousands of other businesses and entrepreneurs. 

As an independent division head, creating, training, and presenting high-impact, results-oriented web seminars for prospects of Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes, Doug increased division sales by 864% and close rate by 62% in just six months. 

Today, he helps businesses to increase revenue and profitably acquire clients by using strategies of top performers through the Top 1% Academy and advisory work. His newest venture is Vibitno, a software focused on sales efficiency and productivity for owners, managers and sales professionals.

Get ready Conquerors for Doug C. Brown coming up next on this week’s episode of the Conquer Local Podcast.

Entrepreneurship Started at a Young Age and Built Successful Businesses. 

Jeff Tomlin: Doug C. Brown, welcome to the Conquer Local podcast. Hey, thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy day to join us here. How are you doing, man?

Doug C. Brown: I’m doing great, Jeff. Thanks so much for having me here. I’m very grateful that I’m here.

Jeff Tomlin: Now I understand you’re coming to us from the Boston area. You must be a Bruins fan.

Doug C. Brown: Is there any other fan when it comes to hockey?

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, I’m an original six fan favourite, but I’ll usually cheer for the teams that are a little north of the border.

Doug C. Brown: Uh oh. Uh oh. All right. We’ll see how this goes.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, I know, I know. You’ve been taking a round out of us for a couple of years now, so it’s tough on me.

Doug C. Brown: Well, I’m sorry, but this year might be a little different because I’m a little, trepidatious is probably the word that I have for the Boston Bruins team this year.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, well, our team’s doing good. Wherever I end up going now, we’ve had a drought north of the border, so I tend to now just cheer for any Canadian team that can make it into the playoffs and make a run. I think it’s back in ’93 is the last time we had a cup north of the border.

Doug C. Brown: Yeah, but you folks have great food. It’s real food, and you have healthcare. Very calm people.

Jeff Tomlin: Well, the food we have everything that you can clog your arteries with, and that’s why we have the free healthcare up here. Hey, thanks again for joining us. I was going through your resume and you’ve had a storied career and went through it here in the intro a little bit, but you’ve got some really huge clients that you’ve had over the years and you’ve got a pretty incredible track record. So I’d be remiss if I didn’t get you just to tell us a little bit about the journey, how it started and how you got to the level that you’re at now.

Doug C. Brown: Well, it all started when I was age three. My father actually had us all working in his business when we were young. So at age three, I was sweeping floors, for 25 cents a week. I loved it. I got to buy all kinds of candy at the end of the week because back then candy literally was a handful for a penny, and we stayed with my dad’s business through pretty much the first 18 years of my life, and I always built little side businesses. I had a music business, a paper route. I wasn’t old enough to get a paper route, so my brothers went out and they got paper routes and I took their paper routes, and then I hired deliverers and they would do that. We’d all split up the commission, so I kind of learned entrepreneurship early on. By age five, we were selling to clients at my dad’s business. I still don’t know if my dad did this because he wanted to teach us or he just could get low-cost labour. I never had the chance to ask him.

Jeff Tomlin: Probably both.

Doug C. Brown: Yeah, probably both, and it was a great atmosphere to learn. And then I just kept building businesses all the way through my life, all the way through high school, different ones. I had a body shop, a Christmas tree retailing store or location I should say, and I just kept building businesses on the side. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I was trying to find myself. And then I was in the military in my 20s and I had side businesses through that, came out of that and figured, geez, I need to have a college education. You can’t make money otherwise, which I really didn’t realize back then. So my 30s, I did that, graduated in my 40s. I started having a family in my late thirties, and I started working for companies and I was working for my own businesses and then all of a sudden one business just really took, and I left the corporate world and I never looked back at that point. It was just once I got my first good solid seven-figure plus business, I just was like, this is for me. I like having what I have and living the lifestyle I live, and I just kept building from there. Eventually, I worked, as you said, into some very large companies and had them as clients. I helped a guy named Jay Conrad Levinson who wrote a book series called Guerrilla Marketing, and he introduced me into the training world and I ended up eventually as an independent working with Tony Robbins, Chet Holmes and Russ Whitney on Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Deepak Chopra, Brian Tracy, all these brand names and helping them grow their revenues. I was the guy behind the scenes turning the dials of optimization, helping them grow their companies.

Jeff Tomlin: Very, very cool. I think it’s cool that your father started you from such an early age, so that entrepreneurship was, it probably just came naturally to you because a lot of people, it’s a leap to move out on your own and to move into the world of entrepreneurship. If you decide to do it a little later on, it seems like it must’ve been just natural for you.

Doug C. Brown: I think it was. I think it was very natural … I did the same with my daughters. I got them very involved very early. I loved it because all my friends were still in school, and I got out by 11:00 AM and I went to work and I was making money. I always had money at the end of the week, and they didn’t have as much, not because that’s a braggadocious thing, but it was just more of a, I loved having the freedom to go buy stuff, even for my friends. So we would just go out and they’d be like, “Well, I’m a little short.” I’m like, “I got it.” And I didn’t know any better because I was just a kid back then, but I knew that gave me leverage and that’s what I was looking for.

Vibitno is a Software Company Focused on Personalized Automated Prospecting. 

Jeff Tomlin: I’m going to jump around in the timeline a little bit here and fast-forward to where you’re at now because I was really interested in reading your background and whatnot. What you’re currently doing right now, you’ve started a software company and the name’s Vibitno, and I believe you’re focusing on automated prospecting and personalization and automated follow-up process. And the first question that I had, all great products, they’ve got a story behind the name, and so I wanted to ask you about the name, where’d it come from? How’d you come up with it?

Doug C. Brown: Yeah, so it’s a Slavic name, and I came up with it because I was trying to come up with something that represented what the product would actually be. And so the Slavic name is You Matter, it’s like the Sublime or You Matter, and I really liked the name Vibitno, but that really encompassed what I was trying to do. The business started between myself and a friend of mine who we were both top players in selling for pretty good-sized companies. And we went to a place called Panera Bread, and we sat down and we were just complaining about all the stuff we couldn’t get done because I had 62 incoming leads a day coming into me and I couldn’t get back to people. And I was like, “Man, if I just had a system that would do X, Y and Z,” and he’s like, “Oh, that would be great if it could do A, B, and C.” So we wrote it all down on the back of a napkin and I was like, nothing like this exists. There’s nothing personalized, meaningful, or relevant in the pursuit of follow-up. There’s nothing that really helps people at the time with prospecting. How can you automate that process without getting away from You Matter? I don’t know about you, Jeff, but I get bombarded today with emails and I just looked at them. I just quickly, about 72% of the emails that came in to me today actually were completely irrelevant. Then I had emails come in last night, which were saying, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or whatever. Now one of them is for a vendor for our company, and he sent it three times. He doesn’t even know he sent the same email. So it’s like the personalization is completely gone out of that email at this point because it’s like I’m looking at it and I’m going, “My God, why did he send this three times?” And I look at it’s the same email, but the first time he left my name out of it, the second time it had the wrong name, and the third time it had my wife’s name. So it’s like there’s no connection in the communication. Vibitno was built for that purpose because sometimes sales cycles are long. It’s taken me sometimes two, or three years to close sales that are very large. So how do we stay in touch with somebody, make that automated as much as possible, personalized and meaningful and relevant to what’s going on? That’s what Vibitno was.

Identify Ideal Buyers, Create Contrast, Ask Tough Questions to Close Sales. 

Jeff Tomlin: I like that. We used to say about marketing automation and that space because it sounds like the guy you’re talking about, some automations went rogue on him, and he’s lost track of what he’s got firing in a system. We used to say that the biggest piece of marketing automation is writing content, and the only thing that isn’t automated is actually content creation. And it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle. And by the way, that’s what we’re sort of focusing on in the small business side with our snapshot over at Vendasta. So I really like that approach. Messaging is really important, talking about the content, and one of the things that I was curious and wanted to ask you about was the work that you’ve done in and around messaging with your clients. And because I find a lot of people, they struggle in that area and the businesses that really stand out are ones that can really create contrast between themselves and what else is out there in the market. So talk a little bit about the work that you do with your clients and how you help them stand out.

Doug C. Brown: The first step out of all of this is identify really who are the true ideal buyers. So part of the reason that companies don’t stand out is because they’re trying to market too wide of a message. They’re throwing a message out in which they’re saying, “Oh, we’ll get all the fish in the sea,” so to speak. And the reality is that if we look at this, we’ve identified five characteristics of people on this when it comes to the buyer, and if you have others, please let me know, Jeff. But firstly, there’s a percentage of the audience that’s going to be indifferent to any message or indifferent to an offer. They just don’t care. One way or another, it’s not for me. Then there’s going to be the pretender market. So if we look at this in five pillars, if you will, the pretend-to-market is those people that are going to say yes, but they’re thinking no. So again, if we’re crafting messages to people like that, we’re not going to stand out. It’s going to be one of those things that they go, “Oh, that’s cool. I don’t want it.” Then there’s the potential category, which is the third category, and this is where people get confused. Half that category roughly is still thinking toward the pretenders. Half that category is thinking toward, I’m actively looking for a solution, but they don’t really have it well identified. And so then what we get is the fourth category, which we call Kaizen players. Kaizen players are those people that are looking actively for the solution. And then the fifth category is the eager beavers, if you will, and those are the people that are like, I’m looking for the solution, I’m ready to go, et cetera, et cetera. The big challenge for most people when they’re creating messaging is they’re not creating it for the upper two categories because they’ve never really identified what these people are really looking for, and then taking half of the potential category that will go that direction through that messaging. So that’s step number one. We must identify what they’re looking for, and a lot of times they’re not. You’re in different people, you pretenders and part of the potentials, they’re looking for something that is usually a lower end or they’re looking for something that’s not quite what the Kaizen players or the upper eager beavers are looking for. So I find that’s where most people miss the messaging and can’t differentiate is between not being able to identify who the true buyer is and marketing to that specific.

Jeff Tomlin: And so formulas are really, really important and having frameworks to work from. And so are those five components that you’re talking about the framework that you work from to help close sales faster and focusing on those top categories?

Doug C. Brown: Yeah, number one is the first step would be to identify the right buyer. So many people are talking to people who just aren’t going to buy regardless, and they’re not qualifying that or disqualifying that, but they don’t do it upfront. So it’s kind of like I have a friend, Dave, super nice guy. He used to walk around telling me all the time, “There are no good women out there. I can’t find a good date.” And so I sat with him one day and “Dave, out of whatever, hundreds of millions of women in the world, there’s not one that’s a good date?” And he’s like, “Oh, I got your point.” I said, “Well, let’s talk about what you’re looking for.” And so we did, and he said, “I’d like a church-going woman. I’d like somebody with a master’s degree who’s highly educated. She wants a family, she wants this many kids, she wants that.” And I said, “Well, Dave, tell me where you’re marketing for this.” He goes, “Well, I go to the bars,” and I go, “Dave, brother, what kind of church-going woman, firstly, there might be some, but they’re not going to be.” And so I said, “Well, what are you saying to these people?” And then he’d walk up with his cheesy line and I’d be like, “No, no.” So I’d said, “Why don’t we try this? Why don’t we find a university or college that has a religious affiliation like Holy Cross or something which we live near, and you go to a social there and instead of asking her this cheesy line, why don’t you just walk up to her and say, ‘I don’t know if you find me attractive, I find you attractive. I was wondering if we could have a cup of coffee to see if you’re looking for some type of relationship down the future.'” Just something as simple as that. And Jeff, sure as heck, he goes to the social, first night finds the lady, he was with her four and a half years down the line and they were getting married.

Jeff Tomlin: He just needed a lesson in marketing.

Doug C. Brown: He did, he did. So, finding the right target buyer is the first step in this process. And that’s why you don’t go to the pretender category. You don’t go to the indifferent category, stay out of the bottom half of the potential category and get up to the people who are actually looking for what we are. And then we have to determine their business return on investment and personal return on investment. That’s step two. The business personal thing is really important because most people forget the personal return on investment, especially when we’re dealing with people who are corporate buyers or whatever. A lot of times they have self-interest. So do business owners, self-interest as well as a business interest. And most people are selling to the business interest. They’re not taking into consideration if this doesn’t go right, what happens after the fact? Some people like buyers, they get fired or they don’t get promoted. I once talked to a CFO who said, “I’d be interested in doing this, but if it doesn’t go right, I don’t get my quarterly bonus.” Well, that’s a personal return on investment that they’re looking for because that bonus represents something at home. And so we as sellers need to know. The third thing is to determine how they want to be communicated with because a lot of people don’t really think about how to communicate with somebody. Believe it or not, people have a discussion language like we have and then they have a preferred mode of buying. And so we want to identify that. We do that through asking questions. And I think the most important thing that people miss though, Jeff, they don’t determine their own value in the sale and ask the question like, “Okay, is my value actually supporting this business ROI and this personal ROI?” And if not, they don’t disengage. And that’s where you get buyer’s remorse. That’s where you sell something that maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t work out. And then I think probably the most important thing for people to actually do once they’ve identified all these is really ask the tough questions. The questions that make people go, “I want to hear more about that.” So what, have them saying things to themselves like, “Geez, I didn’t know that. Wow, tell me more about that.” Because those are engaging points of view where that differentiates more than anything in a sale, in a selling capacity because when we can make people think beyond and stretch their abilities, then we’re actually giving them the opportunity for growth. And that’s a human need. We all have it. So what I find that most people can’t close the sale many times. They’re just not asking the tough enough questions to get people to actually raise their eyebrows and think. So that’s kind of a five-part framework to it.

Scaling too Quickly without Stability and Preparation can Lead to Implosion. 

Jeff Tomlin: I like that a lot. One thing that you made me think about there is the personal investment that someone has in a potential transaction. And what I’ve seen a lot when even here at Vendasta or other people that we work with, as they build out their ideal customer profile and they actually document what that looks like, there’s functional benefits and emotional benefits, and I find those emotional benefits, they really gloss over those. The team, they kind of check the box to say okay, we put some things down here, but they don’t really deeply understand for that type of buyer what is really making them tick in a lot of cases?

Doug C. Brown: Right, yeah. I had one time when I was selling telecommunication services and wireless services on the corporate side. I literally had a buyer say to me, “Listen if this doesn’t go well if this goes bad, I’m not going down alone.” It was like right out. And so we had to figure out at that moment, I had to, what is this personal ROI that he’s looking for? And so we should be asking questions of ourselves, of the buyers, what do they want? What do they value? What do they fear? What’s most important to them, what’s least important to them? We want to figure out those answers to those questions because those are going to give us a pretty good indication of what the personal ROI is. And if we’re having meaningful, relevant conversations and building trust, then they’re going to tell us stuff anyways. I’ve had people tell me, “Hey, I’m going through a divorce.” “My child has cancer,” whatever it might be. I mean sad stories, but they trust enough so that they open up and now you know or have a better idea of how this is going to impact them. And that’s the key in selling because we’re human beings. We’re not titles, but people are always trying to sell to the title, oh, they’re the CEO. They must think like this. Well, yeah, but you know what? The CEO, I’m sure Steve Jobs on his deathbed or prior to that was probably thinking more about quality of life than he ever had. So he’s still a human being. All these people are not, you’re not selling to directors, folks, you’re not selling to VPs, you’re selling to human beings who have titles. So that’s where the personal ROI comes in, the human being side.

Jeff Tomlin: Super, super insightful. Doug, I wanted to ask you about organizations now, because I imagine that you’ve come across this a lot with the clients that you’ve worked with. A lot of companies start trying to scale too quickly before they have fit, and I wanted to ask you about maybe some of the common mistakes that you see companies make in trying to scale their sales.

Doug C. Brown: Yeah. Well, the first mistake is they scale it too early before they’re even stable. So you talk to budding entrepreneurs, let’s say, and they’re like, “I want $52 million in my first year.” And it’s like, “Okay, are you a million-dollar company yet?” “No.” So the thing is, when we scale too early, we can actually implode the company because everything has a cost to it. There’s a cost of sale. And a lot of people, when they’re selling and they’re not realizing how to run the division or a company, they got great aspirations, but they’re not figuring in that cost of sale. And the reality is, I watched one company one time, they would do what they call a Midnight Madness sale twice a year. And basically, they would open their company up at midnight. They were a retail music company. They would bring their clientele in and they would sell everything at cost, and it was not even marked up. And so what happened in that case is they never realized there’s a cost to the sale. So they trained their people, even though they grew by millions of dollars that year, they trained their people to come to these two-midnight madness sales per year, and they were actually selling at a loss, and they put themselves out of business. And so when we try to scale something, we want to make sure not only do we have profit margins into it, but we also have operational processes and customer service and everything that needs to support that growth. That doesn’t mean we have to have it in there 100%. There is a time to kick off regardless. But the reality is that most companies are trying to do it too early and they’re not prepared to do it, Jeff. And so what ends up happening is something or the company itself implodes in the process of scaling too fast, and that would be what I see as the biggest mistake because they’re not budgeting for it. So let’s say that we have a tangible product that we’ve got to actually buy from a manufacturer, and then we got to bring in. Well, if we scale too fast, we can’t fulfill orders. And so then we get a reputation out in the industry like, “Oh yeah, they’re good people, but they’re not reliable,” and that can spread throughout the community, and that can hurt us as much as anything. So we want to make sure that we have our financials in order, the operations in order everything as much as we can to anticipate the growth if we’re going to truly scale.

Jeff Tomlin: I really like the example that you have of the bricks-and-mortar store that put itself out of business because, in the software as a service industry, metrics around and sort of the model around SaaS is largely figured out now, over the last few years that there’s a conclusion that we’ve sort of figured out what are the key metrics and how to grow it. I see a lot of companies focus on really measuring their cost of revenue and how much does it cost to generate a lead, and how much does it cost eventually to acquire a customer and then acquire that revenue, whether you’re expanding existing customers or acquiring new customers. But one metric that I see a lot of companies not paying attention to is the cost to serve, which is sort of what you were talking about, “Hey, what are all the other things, the costs around running the business,” and cost to serve focuses on your support costs, software maintenance costs, the foundational costs that it costs the business to actually serve the customer after you’ve got them. And so anyways, that’s just a side anecdote that your story resonated there with me 100%.

Doug C. Brown: Well, yeah, thanks. I mean, too many companies try to do it too quickly without the correct parameters in place and it gets them in trouble.

The Selling Mindset is Crucial for Success in Sales.  

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah. One of the things that you write about is the importance of a selling mindset. So I wonder if you could just take a second and talk a little bit about the selling mindset and its importance, whether we’re talking B2B or a B2C type businesses.

Doug C. Brown: So the selling mindset’s so important on the process of success within a company or an individual seller, and it never ceases to amaze me. We can have the components of activity, we can have the components of skill, but when we don’t have the right mindset around that process, what ends up happening in that whole process is it falls apart. Because I’ve seen people do things specifically like undo their sale due to the fact that they’ve got the sale closed, but then what ends up happening is they say something that will unravel that sale. Let me give you an example. I was watching a real estate person at one time, and the husband and wife were going back and forth. Now, this house was almost $5 million, and so at a 6% commission, it’s a pretty healthy commission for most people. And so what ended happening was the husband was like, “I don’t know if I want to buy the house. I’m not feeling it.” And she’s selling it like crazy, and I’m watching this happen. She’s like, “Well, honey, let’s look it out here where the pool is. The kids could be out here, they could be having barbecue, and we could be doing this and how happy we are the family.” And he’s like, “Well, I really don’t know.” She’d take them up to the bedroom and it overlooked this beautiful vista, and she’d be selling it hard. She wanted this house, and he in turn was just like, “I’m really not sure.” And she said these words to him, Jeff, “sweetheart, I will go back to work and I will pay the mortgage myself from my law practice, and you don’t even have to worry about it.” That’s how much she wanted this house. And right in the middle of this, the real estate agent said to them, You know, guys, I see you going back and forth. It is a pretty big decision. I think you ought to maybe take some time and go out and have lunch and think about it.” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And I was like, “Oh my goodness.” And so this person had some high need to please people on the mindset side of this process that they let the sale walk out there. Now, here’s literally what happened. They said, “Well, we’ll get back to you in a couple of days then.” Okay, two days come by. They’re now ghosting this real estate agent. The real estate agent finally gets them, I think it was three days later, and they said, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry, we didn’t get back to you.”

“Yeah, well, hey, what did you think of the house?”

“Loved the house. But you know what? We bought another house.”


“Down around the corner, same neighborhood.”

“How much?

“$6 million.” 

There’s a million dollars more than they actually were going to buy this house for. And so the point being is when we allow our mindset to get in the way, then what we end up doing is we end up undoing sales. We say things we may not want to, but we do anyways. And this all stems pretty much from childhood all the way up. So from childhood, what happens is we’re conditioned as human beings, we learn how to act, think, we’re rewarded, we’re not rewarded. And some of the things that we do when we’re a child, for example, we get a little older and we go, “It doesn’t really feel right.” If you grew up in a household that needed to negotiate everything, but you get a good deal on a sale and your dad or mom is still negotiating, you’re like, “Well, this was good enough,” but you don’t say anything. So we end adapting these behaviors and habits as we get older. And when we bring them into selling, then what ends up happening is we actually negotiate after we close the sale and we unravel the sale type thing. And so this is where it all comes from, I have found. But yeah, we want to have the thought process of do the right thing by them, do the right thing by us, and make sure it’s a good fit. And if it is, we have a moral obligation to do everything we can to make sure that they acquire it. And if it’s not, we have a moral obligation to walk away to be the first, but we don’t want to unravel the thing unnecessarily.

Importance of Selling Mindset and Customer Service in Organizations. 

Jeff Tomlin: Doug, I’m going to pile onto your idea because I’ve also seen this in organizations like software organizations like us, where there’s other people that support the sales process post-sale, that don’t have the selling mindset, and they unravel the deals, whether it’s the people that are doing onboarding or customer support, people on the software side of things, if they’re providing professional services on the back end of the deal. So I would say that that selling mindset’s critical for everyone in the organization as well that supports that sale.

Doug C. Brown: Absolutely. And it needs to come from the top down throughout. So I would call him a friend, and he as a CEO, his motto is, how do we do business with you? And we’re a pleasure always to do business with. That is the mindset that he infuses through his organization. And you’re absolutely right, actually with a SaaS product, it just happened to some of the people who work here. We were investing in a new SaaS product, but their customer service was not getting back to us for three days and we were trying to implement the thing in the company and they just weren’t getting back. So it actually trickled back up to me, and they said, “Well, what do you want to do?” I said, “Find another one because we can’t wait three days. It costs us X amount of dollars every time this happens.” Customer service can certainly unravel it. And one of the biggest challenges that companies have, and I think SaaS companies, most of them are terrible at doing this. Sorry if you get some hate mail off this one, but they think they’re only supposed to communicate electronically, and they think that they can communicate whenever timeframe that they want. Not all, but a lot of them. And so what ends up happening is they have introduced doubt into the process at that point by doing so, and please remember, SaaS companies, including mine, we all have competitors. And unless they’re in a very tight contract, which many of them are not, they’re just going to move. You know what I mean? If they can move, and so they’ll move from point A to point B, and then we lose that, and all we’ve done at that point is prep our competition for a very high profitable, easy acquisition sale.

Jeff Tomlin: Yep. 100%.

Doug C. Brown: I got a client right now who’s got a CRM system and they’re pulling their air out and they’re asking me, “What should I do?” And I’m like, “Let’s just move it, move it.” And it’s like CRMs, there’s so many out there, and for what they’re looking for, there’s literally hundreds or thousands that could possibly do what they want. So it is just one of those things. And the client’s at the point now, and it’s all a customer service thing, Jeff, they’re not getting back to the client. It’s taking them sometimes upwards of a week to get a response back.

Jeff Tomlin: Yeah, it’s just not acceptable, and there’s too much competition out there. You know what, Doug, I could talk to you all day long about this kind of stuff, and I think a bunch of this stuff is so insightful, and I’ve got you for free on the podcast. I don’t even have to pay you right now to do this. I’m going to squeeze every bit I can.

Doug C. Brown: Well, you can send money. We’ll take it.

The Top 1% Academy Teaches Sales Skills and Leverage Techniques. 

Jeff Tomlin: Hey, but before we go, I did want you to tell us a quick story about the Top One Percent Academy, because we hadn’t touched on that. So give us a quick story about that.

Doug C. Brown: Yeah, so we developed something called the One Percent Academy because what I was finding was a lot of people are teaching sales training, but they’re not really teaching how to think and act like a 1% earner. And so what we did is we took and we infused the concepts of how do you think a 1% earner, act like a 1% earner, and then infuse conversational conversion and massive prospecting. The three things, the activity, the skillsets, the mindset, plus the fourth, which most people are not teaching, is how do you create leverage in your day-today? How do you create leverage in your selling activities and selling in your process?

Because when I studied the 1% and then my team studied the 1%, the one thing that the 1% has is leveraged activities in everything that they do, everything that they think about. And so we put this academy together where we literally take people in on a bootcamp style and we’re meeting on a very, sometimes two to four times a week, and we’re drilling and drilling and drilling in skills and activities and mindset and leverage techniques into the process so that they can take them and infuse them back into their sales business or their company in general and infuse it through their selling team. And just crazy with the charts results that we’ve been getting in the original runs that we did, I had one guy in his first year, he went from 140,000 in commissions to 2.1 million, at the same company, same job. We had another person who was selling average ticket items at $15,000, and in her second month, she sold a $300,000 ticket item, and then she upped her game where she’s now selling $100,000 ticket items on a regular basis. Just off the chart stuff, where people were just getting all of this fantastic end game results out of doing this, and I was like, “All right, well, these were trial runs that we were running.” And I’m like, “Well, if it’s this good now, why don’t we just bring it out into the world?”

So many people out there who want to make more money, but they don’t have the leverage in the process. We act as sales accountability partners, so literally they’re turning in sales sheets, we’re discussing a deal flow, all of that stuff that would go on that sales managers are supposed to be doing, but some of them don’t. Many of them don’t. We’re coaching their people through and providing the leverage component, and they love the leverage component because that’s what gets the hockey stick curve, if you will. Not to go back to hockey, because I know we talked about that at the beginning, but …

Jeff Tomlin: We can talk about hockey all you want.

Doug C. Brown: It’s been very gratifying.

Getting in Touch with Doug C. Brown

Jeff Tomlin: Doug, it has been an absolute pleasure spending a few minutes with you here on the podcast and picking your brain and learning from you, and I hope that we could do this again in the future. Hey, if people wanted to reach out to you and continue the conversation, how do they connect with you?

Doug C. Brown: There’s a couple of ways. If they send an email into you Matter, Y-O-U-M-A-T-T-E-R @ceosalesstrategies.com, I’ll definitely get it. My team will pick it up first. If they want to send it directly to me, it’s doug@ceosalesstrategies. They want to learn more about me, my LinkedIn is Doug Brown 1234 … I’m sorry, I do this every time. It’s Doug Brown 123 on LinkedIn, and they can check out our website at ceosalesstrategies.com. We got eBooks that they could download. I wrote one call The Nonstop 1% Earner. If they’re interested in the academy, I’ve got one on objections. I’ve got different things that they can pick up for free there.

Jeff Tomlin: I love it. Doug C. Brown, thanks for joining us on the Conquer Local podcast. I wish you the best and look forward to doing this again in the future.

Doug C. Brown: Thanks so much, Jeff. I’m very grateful to be here today and you’re a great interviewer, so thanks again.


Jeff Tomlin: I love the anecdotes! We talked about implementing personalization in Sales Messaging. Doug discussed how crucial it is to personalize sales messages. From identifying ideal buyers to tailoring messages for specific buyer categories from keen players to eager beavers, this personalized approach ensures your communication stands out. According to Doug, it’s a game-changer for engaging potential clients and closing sales effectively.

Moving on to the second takeaway is Doug’s 5 Essential Components for Closing Sales. These components cover everything from identifying the right target buyer and determining their ROI to understanding their preferred communication method, asking the right questions, and presenting engaging points of view. Focusing on these help to build trust, understand buyer motivations, and ultimately achieve successful outcomes.

If you’ve enjoyed Doug C Brown’s episode discussing Sales and Revenue , keep the conversation going and revisit some of our older episodes from the archives: Check out Episode 647: Leverage the Lighthouse Strategy to Attract High-Profile Clients with Dennis Yu or Episode 639: Key Steps and Strategies to Prepare Your Agency for Sale with Richard Parker. 

Until next time, I’m Jeff Tomlin. Get out there and be awesome!