How You Can Optimize Sales Through Fresh Perspectives And Doable Tactics with Gerhard Gschwandtner And Ford Saeks

Success starts from within. Educating ourselves with fresh perspectives and doable tactics can help us resolve marketing, operations, and growth challenges. Gerhard Gschwandtner who operates a leading sales management magazine shares his insights on transforming our limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs so we can go out and do it. His sales intelligence platform has been used by success of leaders in the sales industry. Ford Saeks specializes in helping businesses attract loyal and repeat customers, monetize social media, and ignite creativity by optimizing time in developing and online authority and positioning.

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My first guest is Gerhard Gschwandtner. He is well-known with his Selling Power Magazine. It is the go-to for all salespeople. I’m very anxious to speak with him about what he’s doing with his videos and his work with everybody in the world of sales and sales psychology. Then we’re going to talk to Ford Saeks, who’s a very well-known speaker, innovator. He helps people grow their businesses. He’s authored books. He speaks to companies. He’s got numerous industry awards. Both of these two gentlemen are some of the best in the industry.

Listen to the podcast here:

How You Can Optimize Sales Through Fresh Perspectives And Doable Tactics with Gerhard Gschwandtner

I’m here with Gerhard Gschwandtner whose personal mantra is, “Excellence is a question of expanding awareness.” He established his professional reputation as a sales guru by training over 10,000 people in Europe and the US. He started Selling Power Magazine and turned it into the world’s leading sales management magazine. His mission is to contribute to the success of leaders with SellingPower.com, a sales intelligence platform that’s visited by over 300,000 sales leaders every month. He runs four Sales 2.0 Conferences a year in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco and Las Vegas that attract over 1,200 sales and marketing leaders. More than a hundred thousand sales executives watch his free daily five-minute video interviews with sales leaders. He’s the author of sixteen books on selling, sales management, and sales psychology, and two books on photography. Welcome, Gerhard. I’m so glad that you were able to join us.

Thank you. I feel honored to be part of this conversation. You are doing very similar things in what I do, which is interviewing a lot of successful people and we both can agree that we can learn so much from successful people. As I remember Mary Kay said this once in an interview I did with her. She said, “If you change your heroes, you changed the direction of your life.”

I have a very strong sales background, which made me interested in what you do. How did you attain this level of success? Can you give me a little background, your bio?

I grew up in Salzburg, Austria. I’ve worked with a French multinational company, and they transferred me to the headquarters in Paris after two years. I was in charge of sales training for a sales force of about 1,600 people in 41 different countries and we created sales training materials in four languages. I got transferred to the US subsidiary, and two years later I start my own business. I had published a number of articles on sales training and people will call on me and ask for advice. That lead to job opportunities and I thought, “I cannot afford staying with that company. I have to start my own business.” Within a year, I make twice the money that I earned as an employee. I became addicted to being an entrepreneur. Without any financing or without any venture capital, I started selling print magazine and I self-financed it by selling a lot of subscriptions, so we could pay the printing bill every month.

Over the years, we transformed that into a multi-channel media company where we publish books, we publish newsletters and videos, and we organize conferences. We have created a peak performance mindset training course. It’s a workshop where we help people in one day to connect with the best version of themselves and improve their professional performance and improve their personal performance. What’s interesting is that once people understand how their mindset operates, it’s like a computer. If you reprogram it a little bit and become aware of the foundation for your mindset, as the growth part of your mindset, your inner CEO that directs that.

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Optimize Sales: Your potential is far higher than you believe.

Once you get through this, you’ll have that realization that your potential is far higher than you believe. Once you change self-limiting beliefs into self-liberating beliefs, amazing things are going to happen, which is that your sales are going to double or triple. One woman who was an acquaintance, she applied it on the golf course and she decided to shoot hole-in-one and she did. Her boyfriend told her, “How can you do it? You have a handicap of a 25, you have a chance of one in 75,000 to reach that goal.” She says, “Watch me. I’m transforming my limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs and I’m going to do it.” She visualized that, she empowered herself and on the first hole she shot a hole-in-one.

When you and I have conversations with successful people, they talk mostly about the successes and the steps to success. What stands most in the way is not what they’re telling you, but the most in the way is way is internal dialogue. They have self-talks congruent with their listening. The National Science Foundation found that we experienced about 60,000 thoughts a day, and 80% of those thoughts are negative. It’s the negative self-talk that prevents people from becoming the best they can be. If you imagine a line, there’s below the line and there’s above the line. Below the line, performance is all about self-victimization mindset, and above is the self-empowering mindset. When people think in terms of potential and possibilities and focus on something that’s positive, their mindset is positive, their performance is much higher.

In our workshop and exercise we ask people, “Why don’t you think of something in the past, whether it’s five minutes ago or five years ago, that was negative, and vividly imagine that. Then imagine something in the future that you’re worried about. Give your mind a rating. On a scale of one to ten, how good does it feel?” Everybody says maybe a three or four. We shift the scenery, the mental scenario, to two other things. One is think about what you’re grateful for and vividly imagine that. Then you think of something that gives you hope that you look forward to, think of something that you enjoy and you will enjoy in the future, like a vacation, like a birthday dinner, like a celebration, and then you rate your mindset. How good does that feel? It’s an eight, nine or a ten. We can easily direct our minds towards the positive parts of our mind and work with that and utilize that to drive performance.

That’s what you talk about at these sales conferences. You have all types of salespeople attend, every industry. There are sales involved in so many aspects outside of what traditional sales is. My husband’s a doctor. He’s obviously got to sell his procedures. Everybody has a little bit of selling that they do. Do you think that more people could benefit from the types of things you teach salespeople, that maybe it’s more far reaching than just salespeople?

Look at kids when they’re taken to a grocery store. They’ll sell you on buying the things they want, and never give up. Everybody is selling ideas, everybody has wants and needs. That translates into a sales process. In some cases, it’s amateurish and self-defeating. In other cases it’s very successful. Your husband, when he sells a procedure, he sells the idea of healing. He sells the idea of a better lifestyle or an enriched life and a removal of pain. Those are the basic tenants of selling. Ideally, a salesperson, they have the mindset of working with somebody to make their wish come true, to make a problem go away, or providing value for the customer and make this a pleasant experience in the process.

I’ve been on your site, Selling Power. I’ve seen all your YouTube videos. I really liked in your YouTube video that you say, “This is how much it costs. This is how much we do.” You set it all up there. You’re very upfront with what you can do for people. How do you track the return on some of those five-minute videos that people do? How can they see how successful they are for them?

Learning has shifted. In the past, we all went to universities and study books. Now, we are experts in that field and now, with the knowledge explosion, there’s so much knowledge that we hardly can keep up with it. Institutions are crumbling because everything is moving online. Videos help people self-educate. I interviewed someone from Australia, a young guy who is now a consultant. He describes his first sales job and he had to make cold calls to sell telecommunication services. The first day he knocked on 95 stores and try to persuade people to listen to him, he got 95 rejections that day. That same evening, he went to YouTube and learned two things. How to deal with rejection and eliminate the negative self-talk. Secondly, how to get somebody interested in what you’re selling. You can make a lot more friends by being interested in the other person than to persuade people how great you are or how great your product is. It shifted that paradigm. He said, “It’s better to be an interested introvert instead of being an interesting extrovert. A lot of people would want to be interesting and you want to be interested.”

In sales, you would like to have them be introverted because they would listen and be more open to what the customer is saying. Introverts don’t exactly rush toward sales, so you’ve got to get a balance of personalities. I studied emotional intelligence in sales people as part of my dissertation, and I think that it’s interesting to see the types of people that go into sales and the factors that lead people to be successful. I’m sure you’ve probably have some amazing stories of people you’ve seen reach success. Are they always extroverts or do you get a combination of introverts and extroverts?

The psychological skills that you were mentioning like empathy is fundamental to being successful in sales. There are two qualities salespeople need to balance. One is empathy and the other one is ego drive. If you’re too much of an extrovert, then you have too much of your ego drive showing because you want to assert yourself and you want to get your way and you’re negotiating very far. Sometimes that can lead to some wins but it can also lead to cancellation. On the other hand, if you’re overly empathetic, then you sympathize with the customer and when the customer says, “Your price is too high,” that empathy is not going to get you where you need to go because you need to defend the value of the product. Sell out the value and not sympathize with the customer, but empathize with the customer. There’s a fine line between being overly driven by ego and the desire to make the sale, and being overly empathetic and has that desire that everybody’s going to love you and you love everybody. In that fine line is where success resides.

Have you written more than sixteen books? How do you find new things to write about for sales? Does it change that much or are you finding new things or is it different aspects?

My key drive is curiosity. I’m always curious and try to look at the same thing and discover new insights. One of those fundamental insights that I found is that technology is revolutionizing sales in a major way and we don’t know how it’s going to change us as people. In the past, there is always the race between man and machine. Now we’re in the information age and things have accelerated and sales has moved from 1.0 to 2.0, to 3.0. In 1.0, it was all face-to-face. In 2.0, everything moved online. We live in the age of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We rely more and more on a software product to make decisions that guide our decisions that help our customers make better choices or direct our salespeople to the sweet spot in the market place and help managers spot performance gaps in salespeople and help them fill those gaps.

There’s one thing that we don’t realize, which is technology is like medicine. It has side effects; an obvious side effect of spam. Spam is costing American industry about $20 billion. Spammers don’t make much money with spamming because everybody is growing immune to it. The second thing is security. The Internet hackers that are out there, they’re getting smarter and smarter, and security has become a huge industry. I know I’ve done interviews with business leaders who have been hacked. Their companies have lost dramatic value in the market. The study shows that hacking is costing American businesses $100 billion a year. Everybody’s talking about job displacement, that cost is associated with job loss. One research says at least 500,000 jobs have been lost due to hacking in the past two years. The third side effect of technology is addiction. According to one research, over 12 million Americans are being addicted in one form or another to the internet. Either addicted to social media or addicted to online games or addicted to online gambling. That cost is so huge; 12 million people are suffering from that, and the cure is about $25,000 per person. It takes 45 days to help somebody overcome that addiction.

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Optimize Sales: Over 12 million Americans are being addicted in one form or another to the internet.

You get a lot of statistics for your sites to figure out if you’re targeting the right people. Do you spend a lot of time researching this background of purchasing statistics?

When we run our Sales 3.0 Conferences, we helped companies align people, process and technology. Technology changes constantly and the biggest changes are ahead of us, not behind them. We need to get better tools for our sales organization and marketing organization so we can capture more opportunities. We need to improve better the processes all the time because customer buying behavior changes. If those processes won’t change, we’re not going to catch our true market share. People are the hardest to help, because people are resistant to change. The alignment of people, process, and technologies is a constant puzzle and people need to arm themselves with better information. When you bring it down to a personal level, the success formula has changed. In the past, 1.0 was all about memorization. The salespeople were like little parrots, they went out and said the same thing over and over again. In the Sales 2.0 era, they sat in training classes, and in the Sales 3.0, they have become more self-directed learners. On a personal level, you need to realize that salespeople need to have the right mindset, the right skill sets, and the right tool set in order to be successful. The sales leader needs to watch that. What is the mindset of the salesperson? Because it’s the mindset that shapes the skill set and determines the toolset.

It’s not at the salesperson level. Do you think that they are losing ground to technology, the individual face-to-face salesperson? Do you think that we’re going to see less of that because of technology?

A big large movement for this is continuing, which is the outside sales people, also called the shiny shoes, they are diminishing. The inside salespeople that is growing. Inside salespeople’s tasks are sub-divided because of technology innovation. You have business development reps, you have people who do lead generation, and some people will do account management. Marketing is developing a lot of great content and it’s delivered on a one on one basis. I was looking for an image for my presentations for CPQ. That’s Configuration Price Quote software. I went to a site by Oracle. I click on the image, and it brought me to the Oracle software website. As it opens up it says, “Hi, Gerhard.” I thought, “How is this possible? How do they notice me?” I thought they’re smart. That is the future of marketing, more and more a computer to person. 85% of the interactions between businesses will be transacted by computers, not by people.

Where are the people involved in this then?

Look at machine learning. Looking at the ability of the machine to read data, why do we have artificial intelligence? It’s because of two factors. One factor is that we have an interconnected society. We have more connections across the globe. Secondly, we have a lot more information. We have a lot more data. One human can no longer comprehend the massive data that we’re creating in our enterprise, so we need machine learning. We need artificial intelligence to look at that for us. Artificial Intelligence can learn and recognize patterns in our dataset that help us make better decisions. Artificial intelligence is the future of consulting. I think consultants are going to be replaced by artificial intelligence in many instances. They think they have a free ride, but that can be replaced because machines can learn faster than people and come up with better advice.

What I’m seeing is that a lot of sales jobs will be eliminated, and a lot of new jobs will emerge. You did not have the sales operations manager, or you did not have a marketing automation expert in the company. You have many more different jobs, but sales jobs will be shrinking because you can automate. So much of the customer engagement field is going to be inundated with intelligent technology that will allow people to get a lot of information without having to talk to a salesperson.

I would love for you to share how to reach you and how to find out more if they want to.

Go to SellingPower.com and take a look at the videos, look at the article database of about 3,000 articles that you can search. We have an online magazine that has about 60,000 subscribers. We run the Sales 3.0 Conference. You can see it on SellingPower.com as well. We have a separate website for the mindset, it’s called MindsetScience.com

Thank you so much. Hopefully, we’ll get you back some day on the show.

It was a privilege. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

How You Can Optimize Sales Through Fresh Perspectives And Doable Tactics with Ford Saeks

I’m excited to have Ford Saeks here. He has redefined the formula for business success. His efforts have help companies generate a total of over a billion dollars in sales worldwide. From startups to Fortune 500s, Saeks is widely recognized as a business growth innovator with over twenty years’ experience ranging from retail to wholesale. He’s founded over ten companies, authored four books, awarded three US patents, and received numerous industry awards. Tenacity and innovation are what fuels his revenue-generating powerhouse. From grassroots to Google, Ford provides his clients with fresh perspectives and doable tactics to resolve marketing, operations, and growth challenges. As the president and CEO of Prime Concepts Groups, an integrated marketing services firm, Ford specializes in helping businesses attract loyal and repeat customers, monetize social media, and ignite creativity. It’s so nice to have you here. How are you?

I’m excellent. I’m excited to be one of your guests.

I’m excited to have you here because you and I have work together, so I know you better than most people I interview. I find something about you fascinating. You are fearless. You just do it. You don’t worry about it. You have this sense of confidence. How did you get to be like that? Have you always been like that?

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Optimize Sales: If you’re waiting for it to be perfect or trying to be perfect, sometimes you have to be there and move forward.

It started at a very young age. The first sale that people need to make is to themselves. A lot of people get tied up into analysis paralysis, where they’re waiting for everything to be perfect. One, is this the highest and best use of my time? I always want to try to focus on high value things. Does that mean that I’m perfect to that? No, but that’s the first question. The second thing that I look at is that ‘done’ is more profitable than ‘perfect’. If you’re waiting for it to be perfect or trying to be perfect, sometimes you have to be there and move forward.

They keep going back and looking at it and thinking about it and revisiting it to death. They plan and plan and then never do anything but plan it. You seem to get right past it and go right to the point and I like that. What’s interesting to me about you is how many things you do. You’re a speaker, you’re an author, you help people with their websites. How many things you have going at one time?

A lot of people have a lot of things going, if they think about that way. I like to focus on under one umbrella. My umbrella is business growth. What I do is I help people find, attract, and keep their clients. Underneath that umbrella, it’s your revenue stream. My business is different than some, but any speaker, author, trainer, expert or thought leader, they sometimes want to position themselves as what they do instead of the result. My result is I’m going to help you make more money, get more clients, increase your conversions. I’m going to help you get more business. How I do that is through speaking, consulting, product sales, professional services, and joint ventures.

I speak to corporations and associations. My consulting, people hear me on this show and they want to find out more how I can help them that might be consulting. If they want to buy my products, they can buy them online. I have an online training program that I offer businesses at BusinessGrowthVT.com. I have books and other resources. Some people say, “I don’t want to do any of this. Will you do it for me?” That’s where the professional services come in. You want to ask yourself, think about your business, and the clients that you have. What other things are they asking for that maybe you could provide? Maybe you don’t want to do it, but maybe you could find a strategic partner that could do it or another colleague. There’s no shortage of connections that you can make to do that. This is like a joint venture. You asked me to be a guest on your show, and I can add value. If I can add value, it helps you. It gets me exposed to new people, so it helps me.

I’m part of C-Suite Advisors Group and your face pops up on the screen. You were in a lot of different advising positions. How did you get involved in that?

It has to do with positioning. Jeffrey Hayzlett who started the C-Suite, is a colleague and a friend of mine. We’ve worked together on a few projects. We are in the Million-Dollar Speakers Group together, so I was with him when he started. I’m not taking any credit for that. I’m saying I saw him start the C-Suite Movement. He started by trying to do training to corporate executives and then he had a LinkedIn group. That led and grew into C-Suite Book Club, C-Suite TV. It’s growing so fast, I’m making a prediction that it’s probably going to be rivaling LinkedIn. It’s going to become a major resource.

All we have is time. You’re doing this show to provide quick instant takeaways that your listeners can go back and implement immediately. That’s the same thing on the executive level where Jeffrey is trying to find all these experts like you and me and other people, our colleagues, where they can be part of this network because those CEOs want to go straight to get content for their team. You want to be in a lot of different places. The question is, “How do I do that?” It’s about building your digital footprint. People always ask me, “How do people find you?” How did you find me? It’s your digital footprint. Whatever type of business you’re in, whether it’s retail, wholesale, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, real estate, insurance, whatever business you’re in, it comes down to your digital footprint, which is your website and your social media. If you’re a local business, your local business directory listings.

What shows up when people Google you? People always ask me, “I want help with my brand.” I tried to explain to them, “We can help you with your online authority and your positioning, but your brand is controlled in the marketplace.” If you look at what happened with United Airlines, they had a brand before that day and now they have a brand after that day. Our brand is controlled by the marketplace, and you’re only one phone call or video call away from brand damage.

That one’s going to be very tough them to overcome. What advice would you give them to fix that?

I’m speaking hypothetically in similar situations. I’m not giving them specific advice because I’m not saying I know all the details but from what I know, I would say, “One, it’s a training thing. They need to have a primary plan and a secondary plan.” I don’t think they had the proper training in place to do something because if you look at what the problem was, the employees were trying to take care of what they thought was right by saying, “We’re going to pick four people and we’re going to randomly pick somebody.” Common sense goes a long way. They have to look at the economic impact. Let’s say they gave each person $1,000 for what they went through, especially with their brand damage. It’s going to cause people not to fly with them. They could’ve easily chartered a plane for their four employees that needed to get to whatever city they were trying to get to. It would have cost four or five grand of round trip flight. They could’ve chartered a plane and they could have flown their employees there.

The advice I would give them is to use this as an opportunity. They had a misstep. The CEO has come back and changed the tune a little bit. They’re trying to do repair on it, but once the rabbit’s out of the gate, it’s pretty much gone. That ship has sailed, so we’ll have to let time until the next catastrophe and let them take over. Training and feedback loops are really important to organizations these days. That’s why your show is so important and the work that you do and the writing you do for Forbes is so important. They’re about taking the lead because people need to take the lead. If the employees were taking the lead, common sense could have taken over and they could have made some other plans. What do you think they should’ve done? Let me ask you as a leadership expert, what would you have given them?

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Optimize Sales: Training and feedback loops are really important to organizations these days.

They had not had a proactive plan if something like that happens. You have to think of all possibilities. If somebody says they’re not going to go, you need to know what’s the next step. They didn’t foresee. Everybody has a cell phone, you got to realize you can’t drag somebody off, it’s going to be online. If that’s what their plan was, that you drag the person off, then somebody dropped the ball there. That’s not thinkable. Everything’s on social media. A training needs to take place, and that they could do some repair to their brand. They did it fast. They changed their tune fast. This has been a real awakening for other companies, don’t you think?

It goes back to show people that every employee you have, every touch point, is an opportunity. You are one video away from a problem. Every phone has a recorder on it, every phone has a camera, so everything your employees are doing, everything you’re doing, you need to assume it’s being recorded or it could be. You can record on your phone and put it with a dark screen. You can record a video and not have your camera on. The point is you need to take a look and then ask yourself, “How are you communicating? What touch points do you have with your customers? Have you taken the time to do a customer journey map where you’re mapping out what are the touch points from the time we have a suspect? Do they become a prospect to a qualified lead to a sale?”

You sell them something, they become a customer or client, all the way through to advocate. Your role in business is to create advocates that can go out there and reward you and send you business. If you’re not taking care of business and people are posting on social media, you’re not managing your online reputation. Somebody else is going to do that for you. The old school used to think that it was their marketing department or the PR department. Every department needs to be aware that the level of service that they provide could make or break a long-term relationship.

It’s definitely something that’s going to come up in a lot of courses I teach, because I have a lot of ethics-based courses and discussions with students. It does bring forth a lot of good debate about what word of mouth is now. How has social media changed the word of mouth?

It’s a communication tool. I speak at a lot of conferences. I spoke at the American Gem Society. I’m speaking in the Toronto Business Summit with a bunch of business owners. I particularly speak to business owners or revenue-generating sales teams. I’m always asked about social media. The two tips are, remember that all social media websites are databases. Get the concept, they’re databases. Facebook’s a database of profiles and pages. LinkedIn is a database of profiles and company pages and articles and content. YouTube is a database of videos. If you go down the list, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, they’re all databases. The first concept is that they are databases, and everybody knows what the database is. You have content, you can search it, you can probably have a profile, and you can pull data. That’s the first thing.

The second concept is fish where your fish are. In my business, because I’m a digital marketing agency, my fish are going to be on YouTube because they’re looking for solutions, and it’s on video medium. They’re also on LinkedIn. I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and YouTube. If you’re a retail business like other jewelry stores, they are going to find on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram other places where their people congregate. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be on LinkedIn, too and that I can’t be on Facebook. It means you need to either spend your time on the medium where your people congregate, and then learn the tool. Some people say I don’t know which one is better. Whichever one you’re most comfortable with, learn that one, but don’t make it so complicated. It’s not about the technology, it’s about adding value, building relationships, and communicating.

You communicate very well. You don’t stammer. The minute you think of something, it comes up perfectly clear. Other people may have a little bit of a challenge. What advice can you give people, maybe people that want to be speakers like you are, when they’re creating their content? Do you have advice for others?

I would say practice makes improvement, practice doesn’t make perfect. The more you do it, the better you’re going to get. I’ve probably done 200 or 300 radio interviews, so I know how to answer the questions in short sound bites, give them quick takeaways. I probably speak too fast. That’s probably something I could improve, but I get excited, so I speak too fast. Slow down, give it time for your audience to consume it. If you give them a URL, say it slowly. The advice I have is to start. Where can you start if you’re a new speaker? First, you need to make sure you have content and something of value to say, which is certainly important. What problems do you solve that people pay for? If you want to learn the skill, there’s two parts of this business. There’s the skill part, and you can go to Toastmasters or go online and go through countless programs on professional and public speaking.

There’s the marketing side of it. I have a community called Get Paid to Speak, where people can go and they can learn. I get this question a lot as a top speaker, “Where can I go? I’m an executive and I’m retiring, or I’m in the military, I was on reality TV.” You can go to Get Paid to Speak and learn how to get paid to speak. There’s no shortage of opportunities nowadays. You got this show and you’re getting all these amazing guests, and I’m honored to be one of these guests. It’s me leveraging on social media and telling people that I was a featured guest on Diane Hamilton Take the Lead, and it adds credibility. If you’re new, start with a podcast and being a radio guest and an expert, speak locally, work on your craft, speak at maybe some local meetings or sales meetings or conventions. That will move you up the ladder.

I have a lot of people that are entrepreneurs starting out, trying to build their database, and they are trying to come up with opt in pieces. What’s your favorite type of opt in piece?

My favorite opt in piece is called a Lead Magnet. There are two categories. There’s a discount lead magnet, which means come to this website, put your name and email in. I’m going to go on a hiking trip. I went to REI. When I got to REI’s website, it said sign up today for our newsletter and get 20% off your first order. I’m going to put my email in. I’m going to opt in to get the reward of the 20% off the first order. One is by price, where you’re giving somebody a discount. The other one is by value, where you’re giving them some content. Regardless of what kind of business you are, you need to come up with the questions that your customers ask you most frequently, put it into a PDF document or an audio or a short video, then put it up on your website. Pick a type of business or some type of audience that might want to create a lead magnet and I’ll tell them what to do.

Let’s say you’re a local furniture store. What problems do people have when they come into a furniture store? Do they want to know the different types of quality? How to select the best couch? How to select the right furniture for the right mood? How to select the best furniture for limited space? Wherever the problem is, you have to first identify what the problems are, what are your clients’ questions, and then you want to come up with a list. Five keys to picking out x, three secrets, seven myths, number one thing you need to know. Come up with some value-added answer and promote it on your website, social media website. It could be even promoted in your store as an opt-in bonus. If they opt in, they’re going to get this answer guide, this solution, this white paper, and this video.

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Optimize Sales: Wherever the problem is, you have to first identify what the problems are.

There’s so many were ways to go, and it becomes so overwhelming when they’re starting a new company. Entrepreneurs start with the website and then they go on to something else. At what point do they know that they need to hire help because they can’t handle it themselves?

I recommend that you hire your weaknesses, focus on your strengths, invest in your business, understand that you don’t go broke making a profit. You need to make sure that you are charging enough. There’s no such thing as a money problem. If you’re not making enough money in your business, you can blame it on the economy, you can blame it on the marketplace, you can blame it on a lot of different things. It’s not that. If you want to add more money, if you want to make more money, then add more value. You want to ask yourself the question, “How do I add more value?” A lot of companies, they asked the wrong question. If you’re asking the wrong question, then the answer doesn’t matter. You want to make sure you’re asking powerful questions.

I have a question for your group. If they want to add to their success library and continue the journey and learn, I have a free option that they can do. There’s no money or nothing. They don’t even have to give me their name and email. If they go to Fordify.tv, they’ll be taken to my YouTube show where I have an episode on growing your business, specifically for business owners. It can be small business all the way up to major corporations. I have segments on leadership, customer service, customer engagement and sales and marketing. There’s a free bonus for everybody. Go to Fordify.tv, watch one of the episodes, subscribe, and they can get weekly video. They can unsubscribe, there’s no obligation. You can do it for two reasons. One, it’s valuable. Two, it’ll give you an example of what type of show could you create, what type of show should you produce. You can create your own show, but what makes the most sense for you and your business.

How many hours a week do you work?

Lifestyle for me is important. I only speak maybe two, three times a month. I don’t try to be on the road that many more times because I like to go ride my bike and go to CrossFit and have freedom. I got clients that they want to be on the road. They love traveling, they love staying in the hotels, and if they were on the road 300 days a year, they’re happy. I’m like, “I’ve done that, I don’t want to do that.” It’s about lifestyle for me because life’s too short. I do a lot of things because I’m an entrepreneur and it’s exciting. It’s fun for me to do radio interviews because if one listener takes one idea and had success with it and then emails me and says, “I heard you on Diane’s show. You talked about fishing where the fish are, and I did this. I created an opt-in and I grew my list.” That’s what’s fun; it’s hearing those success stories and seeing what they’ve done. I’m doing a lot but it’s fun, so I don’t feel like it’s work.

What’s the best way to reach you?

The best way to reach me is through my digital marketing agency at PrimeConcepts.com. You can go to Google and type my name in for that. If there was only one action that they were going to take, I’d say go subscribe to the YouTube video because you’re going to get a chance to learn from me for free and get some valuable takeaways. If they want to explore more of how I can help them or their company or they’re interested in having me come in and speak to their group or sales meeting, I can do that too. For those of you that haven’t been doing media, and I don’t care if you’re a furniture store, you can still do media, and you should still be guest on shows in your industry.

Thank you so much for that. I hope to have you on the show again in the future.

Thank you. Glad to be here.

I’d like to thank Gerhard and Ford for being my guest. It’s not every day you get to speak to those two in the same day, and it’s unbelievable the amount of knowledge that they have. I hope everyone takes some time to review their websites and get some of their information.

About Gerhard Gschwandtner

Gerhard GschwandtnerGerhard Gschwandtner’s personal mantra is “excellence is a question of expanding awareness”. He established his professional reputation as a sales guru by training over 10,000 salespeople in Europe and the US. He started Selling Power magazine and turned it into the world’s leading sales management magazine. His mission is to contribute to the success of sales leaders with SellingPower.com, a sales intelligence platform that’s visited by over 300,000 sales leaders every month. He runs four Sales 2.0 conferences a year (in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco and Las Vegas) that attract over 1,200 sales and marketing leaders. More than 100,000 sales executives watch his free, daily (5 min) video interviews with sales leaders. He is the author of 16 books on Selling, Sales Management and Sales Psychology and two books on photography.

About Ford Saeks

Ford SaeksFord Saeks has redefined the formula for business success. His efforts have helped companies generate a total of over a billion dollars in sales worldwide. From start-ups to Fortune 500’s, Saeks is widely recognized as a Business Growth Innovator. With over 20 years’ experience (ranging from retail to wholesale), he has founded over ten companies, authored four books, awarded three U.S. patents, and received numerous industry awards. Tenacity and innovation are what fuels this revenue-generating powerhouse. From grassroots to Google, Ford provides his clients with fresh perspectives and doable tactics to resolve marketing, operations, and growth challenges. As President and CEO of Prime Concepts Group, Inc., an integrated marketing services firm, Ford specializes in helping businesses attract loyal and repeat customers, monetize social media, and ignite creativity.

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