Episode #58 – Damian Thompson on The 3 Email Marketing Campaigns Every Business Should Have

 Damian Thompson is an email marketing POWERHOUSE.

He drops so much knowledge on us in today’s episode, you can almost hear Arnold Schwarzenegger warning you to,

“Get Doooooown!”

It’s that good…

Damian’s company Linchpin, helps businesses make more money with every email they send using a method almost no one talks about…

…marketing automation.

Damian believes every business ought to have 3 campaigns

3 campaigns that talk directly to who you’re targeting, depending on how ready they are to buy.

Think about it…

At the very least, you’ve gotta talk to prospects and customers differently.

But if you wanna be a real email boss, you’ve gotta talk to prospects differently based on what stage of the buying cycle they’re in.

That’s why you NEED multiple campaigns…

…and that’s what you’ll discover in today’s episode.

 

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why creating 3  campaigns helps you reach your GREATEST potential (vs using a single auto-responder for everyone on your list).
  • How to plant seeds within your emails in order to avoid having to ‘pitch‘ during the phone call.
  • What The Insult Sandwich is and how/when to use it in order to keep your clients hooked, even after you’ve exposed them their faults.
  • Why your BEST salesmen in the world are your happy clients (included are actionable steps for how best to utilize their services).
  • The number one reason why email is the most powerful marketing tool on Earth (After hearing this, you’ll want to improve your email chops, ASAP).
  • How to identify a person’s buying stage (master this, and your campaigns will provide you endless success).
  • What the rule of reciprocity is and how to use it for boundless personal and financial gains.
  • How to get people to know, like, and trust you (through selective campaigns, you can focus on their true needs).
  • Why social proof is EXTREMELY powerful (and how you can use it to put your current income to shame).
 

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1

Mentioned:

Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO

 

Raw transcript:

Download PDF transcript here.

John:Hey, everybody. It’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder Guy, and it’s time for Episode 58, 5-8, of the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast where you’ll discover basically how to make your email marketing kick ass and make more money with it.

Today, we’ll be talking to Damian Thompson about the three marketing automation campaigns every business should have. Now, this is a topic that I’ve haven’t really talked about on this podcast. I haven’t had too many guests on to talk about it either, but here’s a quick summary of what this is all about.

You can go and get an email software program like Infusionsoft or Office Auto Pilot, and what that software will allow you to do is when someone clicks a link in your emails or when someone visits a page on your website, you can trigger an email that gets sent out to them. Let’s say, for example, I am not using a software like this for myself but supposed I was, you’d go to my site, you sign up to my daily email list. The software would cookie you. Basically put a tracking cookie on to your computer.

Then, let’s say a week later, you visited my page that’s basically selling ten email autoresponder sequences. There is a form on that page but let’s say you visited that page and you didn’t fill out that form. You just visited, checked it out, then left. What I could do is set Infusionsoft or Office Auto Pilot to send you an email and say, “Hey, we noticed you checked out this page. Do you have any questions on this service?” It’s called marketing automation.

Here’s another thing. You’ve got to understand what stage of the buying cycle people are in. You’ve got really cold prospects which basically mean you need to establish your authority with them, but once they’ve contacted you, once they’ve replied to an email, or talked to you on the phone, they really need to go into a proper sales funnel sequence, something more aggressive.

What we’re talking about here today is what sort of campaigns do you need to have for prospects, and then when they get a little bit warmer, and then what about customers, and why they really should not be running at the same time. Today, Damian talks and he runs basically a marketing automation agency where they set these things up for people. He’s actually a bit of a friend as well. We’ve both worked in the Philippines. He was at the resort before I was if you’ve heard that story before. This is going to be a really fascinating episode. It’s got me all pumped up about marketing automation. To get the short notes for this episode of the email marketing podcast, go to the McMethod.com/58.

Now, before we do that, I’ve got a couple of things to mention, this week’s McMasters Insight of the Week. If you don’t know, McMasters is my paid membership community. You’d get the McIntyre Method, Stories that Sell, a bunch of different products that is going to help you do email marketing better. There’s a whole group of people in there right now who are learning how to do their email marketing.

Anyway, insight of the week this week, there is a forum. That is where I am getting these insights from. The insight this week is, your product does not matter. The solution is the only thing that matters. Your job as the copywriter is to get someone sold on the benefits of a solution. Not your solution but a solution.

Now, I’ve read that and replied to a thread when someone was talking about their product. Now, what you need to understand is your product literally does not matter. What matters is the result someone that’s going to get by using it. It’s not about the e-book, it’s not about the videos, it’s not about the kitchen knives, it’s not about any of that. It’s about a flat stomach. It’s a beautifully cut steak. It’s about plumbing in a house that works perfectly, and that’s what you’re selling. You’re not selling an e-book. You’re not selling videos. You’re not selling any of these things. You’re selling a result.

When you get that, you realize that when you do your sales cover, when you do your emails, you do all of these things. It’s all about that result. You don’t need to even worry. It’s almost like the e-book, the fact that it’s an e-book, or you’re a plumber, or you sell kitchen knives, or you sell videos, whatever it is, that’s just the side note.

It’s like making me even saying supposed you’re really fat and you wanted to lose weight, I’d say, “Hey, Dave. How would you like to lose 50 pounds in the next 50 days?” and you’d be like, “Fantastic. Where do I sign up?” I’m like, “Great.” I could be like, “Well, I’ve got an e-book,” or “I’ve got videos,” or “I’ve got special personal training program,” or whatever it is, but if I could get you convinced that you’re going to get that result, the product doesn’t matter, you’ll go through the e-book, you’ll go through the videos, you’ll go through the training if you’re convinced that you’d get the result that you want.

That’s it for this insight. If you want to learn more about McMasters and get some more of these insights into your life, go to the McMethod.com/McMasters. There’s a link in the top menu bar as well if that link doesn’t work, and I’ll see you on the Insider when you start talking more about this stuff.

Now, reviews. If you want to leave me an iTunes review, if you enjoyed this show, if you’re getting a lot out of it, it really helps spread the word and really makes my day. Go to iTunes, search for the McMethod Email Marketing Podcast, leave me an iTunes review, tell me what you think about this show, any guest you think I should interview, I am going to owe you a high five one day, and if you come to [inaudible 00:04:35] Thailand or if I bump into you in the States or somewhere one day, tell me you left me a review and I’ll buy you a beer.

I’ve got one listener question really quickly today, what is the best way to get traffic to your website both free and paid? It’s an interesting question because it’s presupposes that there is a best way and honestly, there is no best way. There is context. There is only context. If you have no money, and you don’t want to spend money on ads, you can’t spend money on ads, then paid traffic is ruled out in the context of your life, your situation. Paid traffic is irrelevant, so you got to do free traffic. The goal here should be to go borrow some money.

The problem with free traffic is that people think, “Oh, it’s free. It doesn’t cost anything.” Well it does cost a lot of things. It costs time, it costs energy, it costs research, it costs the stress that comes with playing with Google. Google does these little animal updates, you know panda, penguin, rhinoceros, hippopotamus. That is so stressful. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I don’t want to even think about SEO because it’s annoying. I don’t want to have to deal with Google. Paid traffic on the other hand doesn’t cost that much time, doesn’t cost that much energy once you get the hang of it but it does cost money.

It depends. If you want to trade your time and energy for traffic or do you want to trade your money for traffic. Once you figured out that, then you’re going to know whether to do free traffic or paid traffic. Let’s say you’re going to do free, well that’s going to be things like a podcast, content marketing like blog posts, guest posting, all those different things. There’s no best way. There is just different ways. A lot of with the free way, you’re going to have to create good content. Otherwise, it’s not going to do that much or you’re going to have to be a really good SEO’er.

Now, as a paid traffic, I am getting started with Facebook ads right now, and I think that will be a great place for a lot of people to start. There’s some really good targeting options, it’s very cheap. It’s a lot cheaper than Google AdWords. It’s a great place to get your feet wet in the advertising, paid advertising space and as you grow that … This is what I mean, the context. If you’re just a beginner, then start with Facebook advertising. It’s still running, it’s still good, it’s cheap, and you’ll get the hang of it.

Then, once you’ve got some chops down, then you go into AdWords, and then you go and so some banner advertising. There is no best way. There is only context. You got to understand what’s going to work for you in your personal situation.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I am all jacked up because I’ve had a coffee at 7:00. Let’s see, it’s 9:00 a.m. here in Thailand so I’ve got that morning buzz. Anyway, that’s it for now. Let’s get into this podcast with Damian Thompson.

It’s John McIntyre here, the Autoresponder guy. I am here with Damian Thompson. I first met Damian a long time ago. I think it’s about 3 years. I was applying for a job in the Philippines to work at a resort. Now, some of you might have heard about of this because you’ve heard the podcast before where I go on, where I went to the Philippines and turned up, and didn’t really know much about marketing, and all. I taught myself copywriting and kind of got started.

Damian was the guy that interviewed me for that position. That’s like 3 years back, right, and now we’re here. I’ve gone off and done some copywriting stuff. Now, I have a bit of marketing agency coaching business sort of thing going on, and Damian’s gone on his own direction. Similar field with the marketing but what he is doing is marketing automation. This is something that we haven’t talked about too much on this podcast for no specific reason other than the guests that I’ve had on so far aren’t specifically about marketing automation but Damian is.

His business is all about creating different email campaigns depending on what stage the prospect of the customer is in. it’s really cool stuff, and he’s got some great stuff to share. Ways you can make it really simplified and that’s important because you do not want to be doing this stuff manually. That is such a waste of time. We’re going to talk about today some really cool stuff that actually, the three campaigns every business should have. Damian will tell you more about that in just a second, but first, Damian, how are you doing today, man?

Damian:Good, John. How are you doing, brother?

John:Fantastic, man. It’s good to have you on.

Damian:Yeah, you know it’s funny. Obviously, I knew it, but hearing you talk about it, our paths were very similar. You know I had that job before you did and then you took the job. We both went from that to I focused on copywriting as paid copywriter for about a year or so and then I ventured off into my own path and you kind of ventured off into teaching other people how to do copywriting and really kind of helping companies do well with autoresponders. It’s interesting. I joke that I came here for 3 months and I stayed for 3 years. The Philippines got me.

John:It’s that kind of place, man. I mean I was there for 4 years, or 4 months, was only going to be there for 4 months and was there for 12 months instead. I don’t know how it does it man. It just does it.

Damian:It does.  It sure does.  I’m happy to be on.  I’m a fan of the podcast.  I like it and I like the stuff you do so definitely I’m looking forward to talking today about the 3 campaigns that every business should have.

John:Cool man. Well before we do that … I’ve given people a quick background of what you’re into, but you’ve probalby got the detailed, in-depth, fun version, so give me that. Hit me that. Who’s Damian Thompson and what does he do?

Damian:Nice.  Okay, so I’ll give you the sales pitch.  Here’s the sales pitch.

John:Do it.

Damian:I’m the founder and chief revenue officer of a company called Linchpin. Linchpin helps professionals of small businesses gain new customers faster, retain existing clients longer, and obtain market leadership through sales and marketing automation. That’s practice. Do you like that? Do you like that, man?

John:That’s cool. I was thinking you’d be talking for like 5 minutes because that’s what some people do but you’ve done it that’s like 20 seconds, 15 seconds.

Damian:Got it, man. It’s the elevator pitch. I’m an ex-sales guy, so you learn those tricks.

John:That’s a great example. Anyone listening, you’ve got to have this pitch down. You go to a conference, when you’ve got to a podcast, this is what you need.

Damian:I spent about 15 years in sales and marketing for big software companies like McAfee and Symantec doing that, kind of traveling around the world, Australia, Asia, the U.S. And then about 4 years ago took the same gig you did to kind of decide, “Hey, I want to translate these corporate skills into online skills and kind of work for myself and be a little more independent with where I lived in the world,” and bumps and bruises and a bunch of mistakes and then kind of finally figured out the hard way what people really wanted to pay for.

John:Okay. Okay and like just to go back a little bit because there’s a bit of a story there with how …Well, both of that result, we both left, we’re both doing copywriting and marketing and then that is how it started right was just copywriting?

Damian:Right.  Yeah.

John:But then I went off and started calling myself the Autoresponder Guy as kind of like a positioning thing and then you ended up you did the same thing just in a different direction and since then because I was in this podcast with you on Schramko and that led me to do another podcast with Schramko recently but this whole idea of when you finally figured out that you were going to be the marketing automation guy, the marketing automation company in the circle or in the scene that we’re in, things took off right? That’s one of the catalyst points.

Damian:Yeah, so I’m a big fan of [inaudible 00:10:52] I’m a big fan of the whole idea of niching down. I know it gets beat up a lot and Schramko beats it up a lot but I mean the reality is is that it’s about getting the right-sized niche. Niching down is a great way to launch a business, at least. I’ve come from corporate, I’ve done through startups, I’ve raised venture capital twice, a couple of million dollars each time so I knew how to build a small company but I really was struggling. When you build a startup, it’s all about trying to address the largest market possible, right? You raise a bunch of money and then you spend a bunch of money trying to go after, solve a big problem. A billion dollar problem, but when you’re bootstrapping, when you’re building yourself, it’s about finding your people, finding your tribe, finding your niche, and doing that in a more cost-effective and faster way because you’re paying all the bills.

I really struggled for a while, so I went from being a solo copywriter, doing the oDesk thing, hustling up contracts that way, and then doing referrals and stuff, into launching a content marketing agency and I didn’t love that at first, and my focus there was, I wash focusing on early-stage funded software companies. I come from that world, and they have a bunch of money so they didn’t complain about rates so I could charge a premium, which I like charging a premium. I didn’t have a problem over money, the problem was is that the engagements weren’t very long and I wanted a recurring revenue because they either run out of money, because they got a business, or they have success and they start hiring people and they hire content marketers, they hire copywriters.

It wasn’t a great fit, so I went back doing the solo consulting thing and then over beers one night with Dan Andrews and then Justin Cooke from Empire Flippers and they’re beating me up again about not having a niche and so I just finally had enough and said, “Okay, great. You just beat me up a lot. I agree. I want one. How about you help me pick one and stop beating me up already.” We sat there, we talked about it, what happened was I just asked them, I said, “Well, what would you pay me $500 a month to do for you?” At the time, Justin just bought Office Autopilot, now Ontraport, and said, “Look, we just bought the software, it costs us a couple of hundred bucks a month. I know we’re not getting the full value out of it. I’d pay you to come figure out how to use it better.”

I said, “That’s interesting,” and so I started playing around with that and quickly realized it was a great niche for me. I come from sales and marketing and running teams and email marketing and CRM, which is what these tools are. They are CRM plus email marketing plus e-commerce online and I was a salesforce admin a decade ago so I understood the space already but never really thought about taking it into. Marketing automation is a market that’s really starting to take off at the enterprise level so there’s a lot of opportunity for SMB, SMP always lags behind enterprise.

I just thought a lot of opportunity. I got it and I really enjoyed it. The plan was always to, again, I want to build teams. I don’t like doing the solo thing. I like building teams, I enjoy that. I want to build a business, and so I always plan on going bigger and not being one thing but that time, I said, “Okay, well, I’ll be the Ontraport guy.” I talked to Uncle Schrammy and Schramko was right. The biggest thing I figured out was I was thinking about taking too long, so I’d always thought about adding Infusionsoft or Hubspot or whatever other tools and not being dependent on one tool only. He was just like, “Well, do it now,” and he was right. I should have, and so I did.

I added Infusionsoft right away and then started with Infusionsoft customers and now, looking by the end of this year, we’ll probably add Hubspot as well. Really, it’s not about the tool. We’re vendor-agnostic. It’s more about getting value out of it, and my new catchphrase is “Automation. Software is not a strategy.” Buying a piece of software is not a strategy. You actually have to have your demand generation strategy set up, so what we do is we help them do that. We set up the tool for them, run it for them, and for most of our customers we also help them by creating content to feed into that tool, because that’s the thing that no one talks about. You got to buy Infusionsoft, you got to buy Ontraport, awesome. You automate your emails, you created this nice, long, tricky campaigns. Well, you have to write all the email content. You have to write that landing page content. You have to write that opt-in content. All that has to be written, and most of my customers are B2B businesses and they’re not copywriters. They’re not content writers. They’re not great at it, so they’re willing to pay someone to do it for them.

John:Okay. Nice, man. Well, tell me. This is a great entry point into this idea of the 3 campaigns every business should have. I’m feeling a bit guilty, looking at this list because I certainly don’t have these 3 signatures. I have always been this great Autoresponder Guy with words just keep sending emails and it works, but you’re talking about a more nuanced approach and this is something you can do if you have Office Autopilot or Infusionsoft. Let’s start there, man. Tell me about these 3 campaigns. Give me a quick overview and then we’ll start with campaign number 1.

Damian:Okay, sure. I’ll premise it by saying this: to me, email marketing is by far the most powerful marketing tool available right now. It is essentially, they said copywriting was salesmanship was print. Well, email marketing is that. It’s the ability to be able to one to many sell. You’d be able to sell your products, sell your services, sell yourself, sell your ideas, whatever. I think it’s very powerful and it’s the basis of almost all online marketing.

In saying that, though, I say the litmus test for what you say to someone should be, in marketing we talk about personas. Deciding who that person is, what do they look like, what are their hopes and fears and dreams and pains. How do you talk to them differently? I say, imagine you’ve got this person across the table. If you were talking to them in real life about their problems and what you can do for them, will you talk to them differently based on what market segment they’re in, what kind of customer they were, how they bought, that sort of thing? If the answer is yes, then you want to talk to them differently.

The way I do this is [inaudible 0:16:26] 3 campaigns. The first is a lead nurture campaign. This is what most people do with their autoresponder today. This is the idea of a long-term drip to build a relationship with them so they get to know and trust you. The second is a sales funnel campaign. This is for someone you’re actually engaging with and starting to really think about doing business with. The third is testimonial / referral campaign. That’s for someone that’s actually become a customer of yours.

If you think about it, would you talk to a prospect, differently talk to just some unwatched person on the Internet, different than someone who’s actually giving you money? Of course you would. The way you talk to those people differently is you create a campaign for each of them.

John:Okay. I like it. I like it. I talked a lot about my sequence in the podcast and all the stuff that I do is that like the empathies key. If you just have one email sequence, you don’t really have much empathy with them, especially if you’re sending that build no matter what stage of the buying cycle they’re at. It’s thinking that within a sales … There’s so many ways to look at this. You have like a sales funnel diagram, you could have almost like a pie chart thing and look at where, which phase, look at the cycle thing like a big circle and which stage people are in. There’s all different ways to phrase it up but if they’re in different stages, they really have different needs, in terms of the way you need to talk to them. The offers you need to make to them. I like this.

Damian:Yeah, that’s the magic word there, John. You’re right. It’s all about the buying stage. At a generic level, and every business is different blah blah blah, but at a generic level there’s essentially 4 buying stages. The first buying stage is unaware, so either they’re unaware they have a problem or they’re unaware that there’s a solution to a problem they know they have. The second stage is some level of information gathering. They’re doing investigation. Now they know there’s a problem they know there’s a possible solution, they’re investigating possible solutions. The third stage is comparison. They’re comparing you versus 2 or 3 of your competitors or 2 or 3 other ways of doing it. The third is actually the sale and post-sale management. 

The way you talk to people in those sales stages, you’re absolutely right, is different and this is what most people get wrong about content, would be that blogging or podcasting or email marketing, is they just do this one size fits all kind of thing, but the reality is when you’re unaware, your content is all about pain agitation. It’s all about poking them in the eye. Let them know that there is a problem. A lot of times unaware means they don’t know they’ve got a problem, so let them know they’ve got a problem. It’s higher level, it’s “top of funnel,” it’s more motion-based.

The second, we start looking at an investigation. Well, now they want to start thinking about what opportunities are out there. Well, now the content needs to be more about what you do and how you do it. Then we talk about comparison, now you’re talking about, now you really want to get really technical. Now it’s about case studies, now you want success stories, now you want to start helping them imagine themselves with your solution so start showing them other people that made that solution and do it, but it gets more technical with more depth and it’s usually longer. 

Then the last is once they’re on board is say, okay, reminding them that they made a good decision, making sure they’re getting the most value out of the purchase they made with you, and then also helping them to get, help you get more customers. That content is vastly different, and so the way you want to talk to them is vastly different.

John:Okay. Well, let’s start with this lead nurturing thing.

Damian:Sure.

John:Aside from it just being content, are you talking about giving them a crash course, give them links to blog posts, the podcast, or is there a specific … Is it just anything and everything about content, no pitching, or is there a specific strategy?

Damian:No, no. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all about the pitch. The pitch changes, so lead nurturing is exactly what it sounds like. This is someone … I essentially break people down to 3 different categories. You’re a suspect, you’re a prospect, or you’re a client or customer. A suspect means someone that meets your criteria, so they’re a possible user of your product or service. A prospect is someone that meets your criteria but has also taken some specific actions towards buying from you, and then a client is obviously someone that’s actually bought from you.

Your lead nurturing is for your suspects. This will be your traditional autoresponder. Someone’s come to your website, they’ve checked out some of your content, they like what they see, they’ve opted on to your list. Now, whether whatever you opt in, whatever you’re using for your lead magnet, whatever your opt in is — a crash course or just more information, whatever — the idea is that they’re not ready. Not only are they not ready to buy from you yet, they’re not even really ready to get serious about talking to you yet. But you don’t want to let them go. This is your traditional drip sequence.

What you want to do here is you want to demonstrate authority. You want to demonstrate expertise. You want to keep them warm while they’re making their decision. They’re just a very early sales stage. They’re either unaware or they’re in an investigating stage, so they’re not really ready to start thinking about buying yet. They’re gathering data, so what you want to give them is you want to just keep them happy. Show them that you are knowledgeable about the industry you’re in, show them, give them some food for thought, give them some kernels of wisdom, and at much higher level … Empathy is a great word here. It’s a much softer thing.

Now I would say you don’t want to pitch your product or service, possibly, and I talk predominantly, most of my customers are B2B companies but for, if you’re doing high value services of any kind, or products of any kind, I think you don’t want to go for the close right away. The close you want to go for is move them into your sales funnel. Like in my business, what I want is I want to get someone on a phone call. I charge anywhere from a thousand dollars to 5 thousand dollars a month, recurring. A new customer is worth anywhere from 5 to 50 thousand dollars to my business. That’s a lot of money, so that’s worth me getting on a phone call with them.

Also, that’s a lot of money for someone to spend so generally, you’ve got to do more than just send them to a sales page. They want to get some personal touch. In my lead nurturing funnel, what I want to do is I want to drive them to an appointment. My close, my “sale” is an appointment, it’s not an order, during the lead nurturing funnel. Once I get that sale and moving them to an appointment, then I would move them to the second campaign, which is just sales funnel. Now this is definitely different for every business.

John:Let’s stop right there. You’re doing lead nurturing, [inaudible 0:22:34] that sequence, I’m getting nurtured, and I’m like, “All right, I want to talk to Damian.” I talk to you and then what you’re saying that happens, at the end of that call, I haven’t made a decision yet and then you send me to sales funnel sequence?

Damian:Well, yeah. It can be even trickier if you start using cool software. What happens is I’ll drive you … My call to action on my lead nurturing will be go to this schedule once link and schedule an appointment with me. What happens is, once you’ve done that, in Infusionsoft, it’ll actually create you as a … [inaudible 0:23:04] lead nurturing series, but it’ll change your tag from a suspect to a prospect. Then once you’re a prospect, it’s actually going to start the emails right then. You’re going to get an email from me saying, “Hey, we’ve got an upcoming call to discuss your business blah blah blah. Here’s a few things you should be thinking about before our call. Here’s a few questions you should answer before we even get on the phone call.” Now, I’m doing the Jay Abraham thing of I’m giving you some hurdles to jump through, so I’m giving you homework before we even talk for the first time.

Then we’ll get on the call, and then what happens is once we’re on the call, depending on the call, there’s another tag that’s created called consultation requested and then consultation completed. Once we’ve completed the call, if I assign that tag to you, you’re going to a new part of the sequence which is did I send you a proposal? Did you get a proposal to buy something? If so, then you get follow up emails 3 days after the proposal, a week after the proposal, 14 days after the proposal, and then on the 21st day after the proposal, you get my kind of see you later email, which is a little bit of reverse psychology which is why I send an email saying, “Hey, we’re not a great fit, probably. I haven’t heard back from you. We’re not moving forward. Probably not a great fit. Most of my customers become customers within the first 3 weeks of us talking. No problem, it’s okay. We’re not a great fit for everybody. I’m going to go ahead and take you off my follow up list. Have a great time. If you ever want to get back to us, it’s easy.”

What happens here is people say, “No, no. Don’t take me off your list. Don’t take me off your list.” It’s a great piece of, that’s the sales funnel. Now that definitely changes business to business but what it is essentially is that now, someone’s engaged. They’ve put more effort into you so you put more effort into them. They’ve requested more information, they’ve requested a proposal, a quote. They’ve requested an appointment.

John:But let’s say they, so they get on this call with you. Let’s say they clicked on the link where they schedule a meeting by this meeting one thing and then you send them an email saying, “Hey, we got a call next week. Before we get on the call, here are a couple of things I need you to do. If I was the prospect there, I could be like, “Well, I’m not going to do anything. I’m just going to get on a phone call in a few days’ time.”

Damian:That’s fine. It doesn’t matter. All I’m doing is I’m just prepping for it all, so I’m not asking you to go out and write a doctoral thesis on something. I’m just saying, the questions are like, “What are your goals this year on your business? What are your medium to long-term goals for your business? What’s your biggest marketing issue?” These are things you can answer right away so you don’t actually have to do anything. What I’m doing is I’m just planting the seed for our conversation, because once we’re on the phone call, I don’t really pitch on the phone call. The phone call is all about you, so once I get you on the  phone call with me, what I’m going to do is I’m going to spend 10 to 15 minutes understanding your business better and asking 10 questions I ask about your business and the rest of it.

Then the second part of our phone call is I’m actually going to give you a few ideas. I’m going to say, “Look, I actually went and checked out Drop Dead Copy, and here’s … I like when you’re doing this.” Give them what I call the insult sandwich. “I like you’re doing this, I think you’re making a mistake here, I also like you doing this.” It’s easier to take my mistake thing. The mistake thing is I’ll say like things along the lines of, “I think your call to action on your opt in could be stronger,” or, “You’re asking for too many fields of data for someone to sign up on your list,” or, “You don’t have enough opt in. You need an opt in on every page [inaudible 0:26:14]” or, “You’ve got too many social media icons and when I click it, it takes me to that page. That should open a new window.”

Basically, I do a small conversionary optimization clinic for about 10 minutes with them, and the idea here is give to get. The [inaudible 0:26:27] jab, jab, jab, hook thing, but what it really is is just it demonstrated my expertise. It demonstrates my authority, but also it does that magical thing of reciprocity. Now what I’ve done is I’ve spent 10, 15 minutes talking about your business, 10 to 15 minutes talking about ways you could improve your business for free, and then 99 times out of 100, that prospect says to me, “Well, hey, how about we talk about your business now.” Now they’re asking me about my offer rather than me having to pitch my offer, which is just a much easier way to en gage with them. 

Also what it does is I’m qualifying them on that call. I would say that 1 out of 4 people I talk to aren’t a good fit for my business. Sometimes 2 out of 5 aren’t a good fit for my business just because they’re not big enough, they’re not making enough money, they’re dreamers. My business, I mean, the software alone is $300 a month, then you got to pay me an additional thousand dollars a month, so if you’re just thinking about what your business is going to be, we’re probably not a good fit so you need to be making money, and I’d be better helping people making a hundred grand make 5 hundred grand is my business, not people making zero make 50 grand.

I’m figuring that out in that phone call and sometimes I don’t even offer at the end because they’re not a good fit. If they are a good fit, generally ask me what we can do together, I talk about it a little bit, if it looks like we’re a good fit, then I will send them a proposal.

John:Nice, man. I like it, I like it. Then, let’s say they sign up because you did lead nurturing, done your sales funnel so they’ve got the emails, they’ve done the phone call and I’m like, “All right. I’m in,” you sign them up, you do the PayPal, you do the payment, you do all that sort of stuff and then you’re saying that you put them onto to the … it’s almost like the customer nurturing sequence but you’re calling it the testimonial referral sequence. What’s that?

Damian:Yeah. This is different. Most people do some sort of onboarding sequence. They say once you become a customer, they help you keep … That’s fine, but what no one does is your best sales people in the world are your happy, new clients. They get that warm, new car smell, they’re all excited, they’re envisioning this future together of the work you’re going to do, so what you want to do is you want to keep them happy, obviously, especially in a retention business like I am. You want to keep them on board, but also you want them to help you sell. You want to help them realize, “Hey, part of the reason we could deliver such great value to you, such great service to you, is we don’t spend 80% of our time out there looking for new business. We spend 80% of our time working with our customers. The way we can do that is is we ask our customers to help us find new customers.” Then you walk them through. 

The thing you will get wrong about referrals is they just for … Actually, the biggest thing is no one ask for referrals. Like they feel uncomfortable. They don’t ask for them, so automating that takes that pain away. Doesn’t feel so bad. The second thing people don’t do is even if they do ask for referrals, they ask for them poorly. They ask for referrals. No one is going to give you a referral, but what you do is you help them, you make it easy on them. Remember, it’s all about them, so you want to make them feel warm and fuzzy, let them feel that it’s reciprocal, but also make it easy. “Hey, John. Here’s why we think you’re going to be a great customer, because you fit X, Y, and Z with us. Other companies who would be a great fit for us would look like this too. [inaudible 0:29:43] They’d be a service business or they’d be a B2B software company. They’re doing at least $5,000 a month in revenue, they’re looking for ways to increase, they don’t consider themselves top of the world marketers, they want to focus on serving their customers, not on finding new ones. 

Paint a picture for them of who your ideal prospect would be and then ask them and, literally, in the email, have 1, 2, 3 empty spaces. Can you think of 3 people that I should reach out and say that you introduced me to them. Then part of that campaign also is testimonials. That’s another thing we don’t do, we don’t do enough social selling, and social proof is very powerful. Instead of doing that, you say, you ask for a testimonial and, again, what we get wrong with testimonials is 1, we don’t ask for them or 2, when we ask for them, we ask for them poorly.

The best way to do it is to actually ask them questions. “Hey, can we just ask you a quick question? Why did you end up choosing us? What did you think this solution was going to do for you? Has it delivered upon that?” Just make it simple for them to answer, and they just reply to the email-

John:That’s fantastic advice. I’ve never heard that before, but that’s fantastic. When you start saying that, I think I’ve done it accidentally before with people and sometimes I’ll come back with a whole paragraph or a whole 300 or 400 word email and there’s so much golden nuggets in there that you can just drop into your sales pitch.

Damian:That’s exactly it, and that’s what I do. The best testimonials are the ones you help your customers right, so you help them write by asking them probing questions. Getting them to answer your probing questions and then when you put it all together you say, “Hey, Bob. I’d love you to look at this. I want to put this on a website,” which everyone loves. Everyone loves the idea of them being published on your website. This is what I’m going to put, this is the information you’ve given me, I’ll just put it all together and put quotation marks around it. Are you okay with this? He’s going to say yes, and then you put it out there and boom! You’ve got your customers selling for you.

John:That’s awesome. I love it. All right, let’s wrap it up here [inaudible 0:31:34] before we go, though, give people … I think a few people who are listening here right now, they’re going to want to go and at least check out your sequence and I’m sure some of them are also going to be interested in signing up. Let me get on the sales call and just see how you do the sales call.

Damian:Yeah, so the easiest way to find me is linchpin.net. That’s linchpin.net. I’m active on Twitter, @damianthompson, go to the website. I got opt in boxes everywhere so you can either opt in to get on the list or you can request a call on our about page. Either way, I look forward to talking to people via email or on a Skype call.

John:Boom! Cool, man. I’ll have those links in the show at the McMethod.com. Let’s get the links there. Thanks for coming on, man.

Damian:Cheers, mate!

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James Schramko

legends. Well done Damian

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Damian Thompson

Thanks James, its been a fun ride so far. 🙂

I owe you a beer or six when we finally meet. DCBKK? or I am actually going to Oz for Xmas, so we will have to grab a surf and a cold one.

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Christopher Justin

Awesome episode. Definitely one I’ll come back to time and time again.

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