How to Close Sales

Episode 2: How to Close Sales, with Drew McLellan

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How to Close Sales? Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, provides his unique and best techniques on How to Close Sales.

How to close sales? In this episode of Sell with Authority, our guest, Drew McLellan, will share his expertise with us. For 30+ years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own agency (which he still owns and runs) in 1995. Additionally, Drew owns and leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small to mid-sized agencies on how to grow their agency and its profitability through agency owner peer groups, consulting, coaching, workshops, and more.


What you will learn in this episode is about how to close sales:

  • Why thought leaders are like lighthouses — the metaphor that Drew uses to describe niche authority
  • The key piece of wisdom that will bring clients to your door
  • How to establish trust before people even meet you
  • What the Edelman Trust Barometer is and how you can leverage that information
  • Why your engaged community is authentic proof of your expertise
  • Why we shouldn’t be afraid to narrow our focus on how we serve others
  • The importance of finding the right clients and how to close sales
  • Why do we need to score our clients every quarter, and how to do it
  • How to filter out the sweet spot clients and replicate them
  • Three strategic steps to getting past your fear and stepping into your authority


Additional Resources:


How to Close Sales: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. My team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So, if you’re an agency owner, a business coach, or a strategic consultant, and you’re looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality, you’re in the right place. You want proven strategies for how to attract a steady stream of well-prepared Right-Fit prospects into your sales pipeline. Yep. We’re gonna cover that. Wanna learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out and own the ground you’re standing on? Yep. We’re gonna cover that too. You want to future-proof your business so you can navigate the following challenges that come your way. Yep. We’ve got you covered there as well. I promise you each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices, never theory, best practices from thought leaders, experts, and owners who have done exactly what you’re working hard to do.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by identifying your best prospects using Drew’s Sweet Spot Client Filter — go here


How to Close Sales: Drew McLellan’s Introduction


So, I want you to think practical and tactical. No fluff. Each of our guests builds a position of authority, of course, and then monetizes that position by claiming their ground, growing their audience, nurturing leads, and, of course, converting sales. All the while though, doing it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were with a helpful answer to an important question. So their prospects never ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise every strategy we discuss and every tool we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so that you can take and apply. Okay, I’m excited for us to get this started with Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute. He’s also the host of the Build a Better Agency podcast and my co-author for our book Sell With Authority. So, I asked Drew to join me for this first episode so we could get his perspective on what he has seen on the front lines every day, working alongside agencies.


If you’re meeting Drew for the first time, he’s worked in the trenches of the advertising industry for over 30 years. He started his career at Y&R, worked in boutique-sized agencies, and then started his own agency in 1995, which he still owns and runs today because Drew works with over 250 agencies every year. He has this unique opportunity to see the patterns and the habits, both good and bad, that happen over and over again. And today’s episode will help you and me do more of the good and less of the bad as we continue working through 2022. Now, as you might imagine, Drew and I talk about thought leadership strategies and tactics a lot, and recently, he said to me, Hey, lighthouses, don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save. They just stand there shining. And he asked me, don’t you think this is what thought leadership is all about? And that’s what I want for you. I want you to have the courage to make that same type of decision in your business, that same decision that will keep you from stopping chasing business and instead shine and attract the right business, just like in this lighthouse metaphor of Drew’s. And so today’s discussion with Drew will help you move down that path. So, without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast, Drew.


Thanks for having me. I’m sorry, but you can probably hear the dog snoring in the background. That’s as good as it’s going to get today. So, hopefully, that’s not the listeners. It’s just the dog, the one dog. No listeners are snoring.


So I can see Heather behind you, but I can’t, so she’s snoring right now.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: The Lighthouse Metaphor for Agency Success


Well, thanks for taking the time. I’m looking forward to your insights and wisdom, as always, and I’m grateful for this because I know how compressed your schedule is. So, let’s start with this really cool metaphor about lighthouses that you and I were actually just going back and forth about. I found that super compelling when you shared it with me, and I’m grateful that you did. So why did that strike you as compelling, too?


How to close sales? Yeah, so I just saw it, it was scrolling through some social media channel and saw it, and it, they, they weren’t talking about thought leadership, of course, they were talking about something else, but when I saw it, I was like, that’s, that’s what we teach. That’s what we talk about is that what a lighthouse does is a lighthouse is rock solid. A lighthouse is something people count on, literally risk their lives counting on. And because they know it’s always gonna be there, it’s consistent, it’s always shining its light. And that’s how people view you when you are good at thought leadership when you are good at it, and when you indeed are an authority. They see you as this resource, this really rich resource that they can come back to time and time again. And they never have to worry about whether or not you’re gonna be there or whether or not you’re gonna be relevant for them.


Your light’s always gonna keep them safe. Or in the way I would twist that is your light is always gonna make them better or more innovative and illuminate something for them that they didn’t know or hadn’t thought about before. And so I think what an authority can do is they just stand in their position of authority. But when I think about agencies and how they struggle with biz dev and how they run around like chickens with their heads cut off, I know this is true for all of your clients, whether they’re agencies or business coaches or consultants, and I think it, I think this is true for all of them. We get into a panic about having enough clients or enough revenue or whatever. And so we don’t know exactly what to do to instill confidence in these strangers out into the world to get them to say, yes, I wanna hire you.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: From Panic to Confidence


How to close sales? And so we just run around and we sort of, Hey, I know some stuff. Hey, I know some stuff. Hey, and we leave voicemails, and you know, hey, we’re we do this kind of work, just wondering if you’re interested. And it just feels like such a panic and so desperate, even when it’s not desperate. However, in many cases, there is some desperation. And I think about the con, the quiet confidence of being an authority where you just stand in place and you just share what you know. That’s all you have to do. You know, most, most business owners of any kind don’t love selling. And what I love about our methodology of selling is you don’t actually have to sell. You just have to help. You just have to be smart enough, willing, and brave enough to share what you know and give it away for free, knowing that that will bring people to you fighting, literally fighting to give you money. It’s a beautiful thing.


So it’s funny to hear you say that because I literally thought of the conversation you and I had when we were traveling a few months ago together. You were telling me about how an agency had sought you out and they’d been listening to the podcast for a while now and going through all of your content and so forth. And here they got in touch with you and said, yep, I wanna do, I wanna do all of that. I’m ready to go with all of that, all of the things that you recommended. And, then, it’s not a sales conversation at all. It’s just about being helpful. But they were so ready because you were the person they could count on, right?


Yeah. I mean, it was a great conversation. And you know, knock on wood, it’s a conversation I get to have almost every day where someone calls and says, we’re ready to do it all. Whatever, whatever. All is, we’re, we’re ready to do it. And I’m like, hi, nice to meet you. Right, But for them, they’re talking to somebody that they’ve known for months or years. I just don’t know they’re out there. And so the beautiful part for me and for people who follow our methodology, ’cause it’s not just, it’s not just my model. And it’s not just your model. We have lots of agencies and other clients that are doing this. Right? The beautiful thing is you don’t even know who you’re helping sometimes; sometimes you do because they’re in kind of an inner circle. They show up at your Q&Aa, or they respond to your emails or whatever. But you just know you’re out there helping somebody, and you just keep helping them. And sooner or later, a subset of them literally shows up at your door, pulling their wallet out of their pocket while you’re still introducing yourself. They’re like, yeah, we can just skip all that. I just wanna give you money.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Building Trust Through Authenticity


How to close sales? Hmm. Well, for our audience who may know you, and maybe they don’t yet, I’ve seen it happen time and time and again at AMI workshops and somebody will walk up to you, they’ve not met you before, but they decided to attend a workshop because of you being somebody that they could count on time and time again and had a question. There you were with an answer in your content, and they walked up to you and said, oh my gosh, you are precisely the person who I thought you would be. And that comes from establishing trust over and over and over again, right?


Yeah. Well, in fact, a lot of times, they walk up and hug me. I mean perfect strangers just walk up and embrace me because I talk about part of being an authority is people get to know you, not just as an authority, but they get to know you as a human being too. So I talk about being a hugger and being Italian, and blah, blah blah. And so they just walk up and assume that we should have a hug, which I’m always happy to have. So I never, I’m I’m bring it. But again, that’s the level of trust and intimacy that they feel because they’ve listened to the podcast, gotten the emails, or done whatever. And because you just show up as yourself. And that is a key. I mean, you can’t, can’t fake this.


How to close sales? You know, you can’t put on a persona. You can’t you can’t be your radio voice. I mean, you have just to be yourself. Right? And the more you are, the ultimate test of trust is when they actually meet you in person, and they go. This is precisely how I expected him or her to show up. This is, this is what I knew they would be like. And when you do that, then it all falls into place for them. And they’re like, okay, I’ve used the advice this person has offered. I seek them out when I have a question. They respond in a certain way,through digital means or through the internet or whatever. So I kind of arm’s length, and now I’ve met them in person, and that was the final box to check if that was the case, or I’ve talked to them on the phone. I’ve had some sort of actual human interaction with this other person. And they show up just like they’ve shown up in all the other places. And so my trust is verified, my trust is justified. Now I know I can trust them.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Taking the Pressure Off


Because they don’t walk away from that conversation feeling like you’ve got your finger in their pocket trying to get at their wallet. They walk away from that conversation feeling like you’re sincerely interested in helping them solve their business issue or challenge because you are.


How to close sales? Yeah. You know, the other awesome thing about having a position of authority is it just takes all the pressure off of selling ’cause your pipeline is always entire. Hmm. So I was, I was on a phone call today with someone who thinks, she wants to join one of our peer groups, but she’s not sure she has the budget for it. Okay. And I was like, don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. We’re not going anywhere. If you don’t join this year, you can join next year. There are other ways that you can get access to some of the content and help that we offer, but don’t put yourself in a financial bind. And it’s, it’s good. So I couldn’t do that if I thought the pipeline was dry or I was about to poor Heather was gonna have to eat generic kibble you know, If you gotta feed the family or pay the mortgage and you don’t see the prospects lining up, you end up making bad choices, or you end up actually being the kind of salesperson you don’t wanna be.


Yeah. I love that. I never have to try and coerce someone into doing anything they don’t wanna do or buy anything they’re not ready to buy. I never have to do that and feel confident that I’m gonna have a healthy bottom line at the end of every month. Because for years and years and years, when you’re a thought leader or an authority, and you plant all of those seeds, and you are helpful, all of those seeds germinate at different times, and everybody’s ready at a different time. But somebody’s always ready.


Let’s return to the research. When you wrote this chapter in our book Cell Authority, you quoted some research and data from Edelman pr. Honestly, that was when I first became familiar with the trust barometer. I wasn’t aware of it before then.


Such a great study.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: The Power of Authority in Consumer Perception


It is. And so let’s slice that apart a little bit, too, because my guess is our audience is thinking, okay, this sounds really good. What Drew is saying sounds believable and trustworthy, and I trust what he’s talking about. But let’s take it back into some third-party data as well. Again, Edelman’s been doing this now for 20-plus years, with tens of thousands of survey participants every single year. That data is rock solid. Awesome.


How to close sales? Yeah, it’s a global study. I think they have like 30,000 people participate every year. It’s a crazy number. Right. Um, maybe it’s 300,000. Anyway, it’s a huge number. They’ve done it for two decades. And what they’re looking for every year is sort of as a consumer. Where is trust born? Where do you sort of, where, what do you trust? Who do you trust in all of that? And you know, when we were writing the book, this was the Edelman 2019 study, if I remember right. And one of the things they were saying is we are in this era of, it’s difficult for people to trust traditional advertising. It’s difficult for people to trust, basically, actors who are paid to say things about a product or service. But what people love is hearing from a couple of sources.


Number one, they love to hear from people who look, sound, and feel like them. So Amazon reviews, for example, orYelp reviews or like, it feels good to have an average Joe like me say, this restaurant was good, but don’t eat the chicken parm ’cause it wasn’t that good or whatever. I trust them because they have no, they have no vested interest in telling me anything other than the truth. ’cause they’re not getting paid for it. They don’t know me. So that was number one. But the only thing that was more powerful in terms of the trust was people who are experts, people who have a position of authority that, and again, it’s not someone who’s being paid to endorse something, it’s someone who just happens to know a lot about a topic I care about. So I am, I am trusting them because, again, they, the world, have deemed them a subject matter expert.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Quality Over Quantity


So they were talking about professors, they were talking about certain professions, but they were also talking about business leaders who have a depth of expertise around a niche or a specialty. And you know, that’s something we talk a lot about in the book. You cannot be an expert in everything. And so you can’t just declare yourself, I am a thought leader on all things and then start creating content about everything. And this is where I think a lot of coaches, consultants, and agencies run into trouble because they are afraid to narrow down the focus enough that they actually could be seen as an authority.


Let’s dive deep into How to close sales. So we’ll dip into the afraid and fear piece here in just a second. But I want to go back to the ED one piece for just a minute because when you shared that study with me the first time, I found it highly counterintuitive. Sure. I saw some things that you just talked about, and it’s like, okay, wow, that’s really good evidence of what we’re talking about here. But then also on the flip side of that, clear on the other side of the spectrum of that scale in one of those charts was that people who were creating the least amount of empathy and authority and trust were the ones who had a million social media followers, who were celebrities and all that kind of stuff. And it was wow. Typically, it’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of thinking, oh, I need a million YouTube subscribers, when, in actuality, it’s the complete reverse. Right?


Right. Well, I think you do need a community, right? I think that’s one of the proof points for someone to determine if you really know something. Have you gathered other people like me, and are they also listening to you, learning from you, and responding to you? So I think number one. But the community doesn’t have to be ginormous. The community has to be genuine and engaged. But it can be a community of 25 people if they’re the right 25 people that if, if that community looks like me and sounds like me, they’re asking the questions I would ask, then pretty quickly I’m like, okay, well he or she has gathered these people, has earned their trust, therefore I am more likely to trust as well.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Fear of Narrowing Focus


I should have also shared in the introduction as we started this conversation that you’ve graciously said yes when it works with your schedule to come back to the show every couple of months or so as it fits. And that’s gonna give us an opportunity to really continue to peel the layers of this. When you just mentioned 25, I immediately went to the nano 25 strategy that’s in the book and thought, wow, that’s a whole conversation in and of itself that we’re going to have to explore. Getting that super intentional about the people who you really know that you wanna be able to serve and to be helpful to is fantastic.


Well, and again, part of narrowing your focus means, and this is, I think, where everybody gets afraid, right? When I narrow my focus, and I say, well, I don’t need a million YouTube followers, I need a couple hundred YouTube followers that are actually engaged or whatever, then immediately the business owner’s mind goes to, but that’s not enough people to sell to. Other people have money. I need everybody’s money. and what we’ve, what we forget, I suspect it’s like childbirth where like right after you have a baby, you’re like, yeah, we’re, I’m not doing that again. And then after a while, you sort of forget that that wasn’t that much fun that day, and other than you got a baby and you’re ready to do it again. And I think, in some cases, we forget as business owners and leaders how awful it is to have a client who is not a right fit.


How to close sales? We chase our tail to try and make them happy, and we struggle to try and meet their needs. We lose our shirts financially because we are constantly trying to be good at something that we’re really not that good at. And so it’s not our area of expertise. And so we, it’s, it’s a stretch for us, and we end up spending so much more time than we would if we were working with clients that we already knew their business, we already understood their problems, we knew how to solve them because we’ve done it a million times. That’s so much easier and more, and frankly more profitable that that should quell our fears about narrowing down. But boy, that is a massive struggle for everybody, as I know you see,


We do. As you know, my business partner Eric very well, he and I go back and forth with this often; it’s a massive topic of conversation inside ASM alongside our turnkey clients. No doubt, it seems like every day, it comes up as something we need to be helpful around. So, given all the reasons why a bad-fit client is yucky, then why the fear? Why do we have such a hard time crossing that bridge and being able actually to conquer that fear piece?


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: The Dilemma of Bad Fit Clients


How to close sales? You know what, one of the things I love about business owners is they’re the most pessimistic optimists I’ve ever met in my life. So they, they, they approach the world so interestingly, but they think this one is gonna be the, the, the fix. Like all the other bad-fit clients were awful. But for this one, I can fix them, or I can make it right, or I can make it work. We’re wrong every single time, but we’re so optimistic about it. and I think, so I think that’s number one. Like, we think this is the one that’s gonna be different. The other thing is that while we fear having the wrong fit client, we fear not having more money. And so I think bad money’s better than no money, which is actually not true because bad money means it actually costs us money, right?


Um, but it feels like if I have to work really hard, but I’m gonna make a little bit of money, that’s better than not having any money at all. And so we foolishly fall down that rabbit hole over and over again, and it’s a lack of confidence. And I think the other thing too is and I know you guys talk to your clients about this, and I’m talking to each of them. This is an evolution, not a revolution. You don’t just stop taking everybody else when you decide how to narrow down. Um, and you don’t say no to everyone right off the bat. You start attracting the right fit clients while you still have some clients that maybe aren’t so great of a fit. And then you start trading up until pretty soon, when the whole roster is right and fit clients. But you don’t have to abandon anybody and everybody to say, okay, we only work with architects.


Now, you don’t, that’s not the way that works. You say we work with architects, and you start attracting architects, but in the meantime, you’re still serving a butcher and a baker and a candlestick maker over here, even though it’s harder work and you’re not making as much money. And then you slowly, as you get, attract more architects because, again, you’re the lighthouse and the light is shining bright and attracting them. You can start saying no to the butchers, and the bakers and the candlestick makers, and then you can start saying the ones that you already have what our prices are going up next year. And so either we have to make more money working with you, or we’re gonna have to find you a different partner. But that happens over a couple of years.


So that’s a great setting of expectation.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Keeping Your Client List Healthy


And it probably does create a lot of fear thinking, thinking like, oh my gosh, I have to fire my entire client list and start over. And by focusing on the niche, no, that would be crazy to do that.




Okay, so let’s put this into a tool context. You’ve built out the sweet spot client filter, which is amazing that our audience can download for free at You can also probably stick the exact link in the show notes, right?


Yep. That would be great. And then your spring workshop that you do, I think it’s every April, right? One of the tools that you work through, if I remember this correctly, and correct me if I’m getting this wrong, but it’s like a client scorecard where you’re scoring clients each year, and that’s the cadence that you’re recommending every 12 months or so, we should score our clients.


No, you should score them every quarter, and everyone’s scorecard’s gonna look different. So we have a template, and you can sort of define what you score them on, but you know, you should grade ’em every quarter, and if they get an A or a B, they’re fine. If they get a C, you have 90 days to move them up to a B. And if they get a D or an F, you’d really need to have a conversation about why they’re a client at all.


Amazing. And if you’ve done the sweet spot client filter, then you know who to replace them with.




Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: The Lighthouse Approach to Business Growth


Okay. So let’s go back to the lighthouse analogy because one of the other things that you wrote about in the book was how there aren’t that many of them with respect to thought leaders. There aren’t that many thought leaders. And so as I’m thinking about that, that there aren’t that many of them in the industry, I’m also thinking about, well, there aren’t that many lighthouses either on the island, right? Right. So, do you think that that’s a decent comparison?


Well, you know what, I think in our head, we think we have to have 10,000 clients. And for most small businesses, if you have 20 clients that each are 5% of your revenue, that’s a beautiful thing. That’s a beautiful ratio. Like nobody’s so big that they dominate your business. Nobody’s so puny and small that they don’t really matter. So, 20, right? Yep. And so if you only have to have 20, and let’s say you’re pretty good at what you do, so you’re gonna lose two, maybe three a year, you gotta come up with two or three new companies to serve. That’s it. ’cause the other 17 stay put. And even if there’s some rotation overtime at the most, you’re gonna lose five. And if the pipeline’s complete, the actual beautiful thing about being an authority is you get to cherry-pick who you wanna work with.


Now, again, depends on the kind of business, and it depends on if you’re a volume business versus a services business and all of that. But imagine being in a position where you have so many right-fit prospects in front of you that you get to go. Hmm, not you, but you are good, you for sure. And you never Right. And you get to cherry-pick who you work with, and you get to have your own criteria for what that looks like. That’s a really privileged position to be in as a business owner. And there’s no reason why every business cannot be in that position if they’re willing to be brave enough just to stand still and be a fricking White House.


It’s such a fantastic metaphor.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Guiding Your Pricing Strategy


It really is. I’m delighted that I stumbled upon it, and now I’m gonna probably talk about it till, in fact, I just recorded a video about it about an hour ago. So, ’cause I was like, oh, I have an, I have time to do a video. So I’m like, I’m gonna do that right now. So yeah, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna for, I’m sure people are gonna be like, oh my god, Stephen and Drew stop with the lighthouse.


Okay, but let’s take it back.years ago you used to use, I think, think it was a lighthouse, wasn’t it? About how being an owner sometimes is a lonely existence, right? Wasn’t that a lighthouse?


Okay. Is there any way to connect these two uses of that metaphor, do you think?


No, but I mean, the point, the point of that original analogy was the idea that when you run a business, and I think this is true not for any business owner, not just agency owners, but when you are running your business, and you don’t really have anyone else to talk to who does what you do, it can be very lonely. Like, you’re sitting, you’re the lighthouse keeper in a lighthouse, and you don’t have anyone else to talk to about it, right? And so that analogy, I think, is different, but it is interesting that the icon is the same.


Let’s tie this back into pricing. So, using the lighthouse metaphor, you’ve claimed your ground, you’re not bouncing the lighthouse, it’s not a portable lighthouse that you’re moving around the island. This is where it is. It’s in a fixed position; you’re gonna save a whole lot of boats because they know where it is, and they can count on it each and every time that they come into port, they know where to look. So let’s think about that from a pricing strategy perspective because earlier in the year, you were our guest on one of our Wednesday Q and As, which was awesome. We specifically talked about pricing and pricing strategy, and there were so many questions around linking authority into pricing that if you claim your ground, if you become that lighthouse, then you have more freedom and flexibility to charge a premium price, right?


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Steps to Becoming a Lighthouse in Your Industry


Well, yeah, I mean, it’s, it is, it is the, as you know, my favorite analogy around that is it’s what you would pay a general practitioner versus a brain surgeon. You know, when you know somebody has a depth of expertise and you have a severe problem, you don’t want to talk to a generalist, you wanna talk to somebody who is a specialist. And so you’re willing to pay more because they’re worth more. And that’s the part I think sometimes it’s not magic or it’s not trickery. You are actually worth more, and you can get to the answers faster for your clients. You understand their industry, and you live their life in some way, shape, or form through your other clients. And so of course, you are better and faster and wiser. So of course you should be more expensive.


It’s such a good analogy. So, I know our time is quickly coming to an end. And again, thank you for taking time out of your compressed schedule to have this conversation. So, let’s try to make it as practical and tactical as possible. Let’s say that our audience is tracking along and saying, yep, I totally need to do that. I need to become the lighthouse. I need to figure out a way to try and get past the fear I need to do this so I can truly make 2022 the year that I wanna make it. So, let’s think about the steps. If you were to think of maybe one, two, or three steps to help guide them down that path, what might those tactical steps be Like? What would you suggest?


Well, I think the first one is you have to decide and decide. Sounds like you can just pick anything. You have to determine what kind of authority you can and should be, right? And so I know you guys help your clients with that. We’ve put together a kind of a little scorecard, which again, we can include a link in the show notes, but where people can list like four or five possible ways they could narrow down and niche down. So it might be, I’m gonna only, I know a lot about how millennial moms buy, I am gonna do pharma for people over 50, whatever it is. And then there’s criteria for what makes a good narrow or niche. And you grade yourself on those criteria. And it’s fascinating how the scores come out, and you go, oh, this is what I should be, and it’s not rocket science. And it’s never something that’s like; you’re not gonna list something as one of the choices that you know like I would not put zoology on mine. You’re not gonna just pick something random.


Although you look incredible holding wombats. I mean, you look great with wombats.


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: Steps to Shine Brighter in Your Industry


I do enjoy holding a wombat. That is true. I’m telling you, that wombat was so sweet. I could, if I could have figured out a way to bring her home, I would’ve. Anyway, but an aside. So anyway, you could. So that’s step number one is you have to, you have to decide where your expertise lies and where you wanna spend the next decade of your life focusing and really doubling down in terms of being helpful and talking about it every day. So that’s number one. Number two is you’ve gotta figure out how because while it’s true that there are not a bunch of people who have the same authority as you, odds are, you’re not gonna be the only one that has that position of authority. So you have to figure out how you’re gonna be different from all the other people who have that position of authority.


So you and I call that having a unique point of view in the book, right? So how do you approach this industry, this audience, this problem? And how do you sort of see it through a different lens than everyone else? And then the third one, honestly, starts talking about it. And you can’t hide it under a bushel. You can’t say we’re the agency for pharma products for women over 50. Then, do not talk about it on your website, put it in your LinkedIn profile, or claim that as a position of authority. You have to sort of own it.


That makes a lot of sense. And when I think about you, I mean you have gifts and talents in many areas. When I think about what really makes you unique and special, and probably why you wrote, wrote the 10 Truths in the book, is because at your core, like if I distill you down into this core DNA, you’re a teacher, you love to teach, and you get that from your mom, she was a fantastic teacher. I mean, it’s in your heart that if anybody is sitting and talking with you and so forth, you generously give and teach, with no strings attached. I mean, that’s just one of the things that makes you so amazingly awesome. Do you think that it’s necessary? Do you think it’s a necessary requirement to do this well? Does that mean that someone has to really love teaching and sharing as much as you do?


Learn more about How to Close Sales by tuning in to our tutorial: The “HOW” Framework


How to Close Sales: A Path to Help and Influence


Here’s what I think is true. So you’re right. It is wired into who I am. And it comes naturally to me. I love it. But I think even if you think teaching is crappy and you don’t wanna teach and you don’t wanna, and you’re nervous to stand up in front of a group of people or to be on a podcast or whatever, everybody likes to help. Everybody, like every human being, wants to be helpful. And that’s really what teaching is all about. Hmm. And so even if you don’t like to teach, as you start to help people, what you’re gonna find out is you actually like to teach. And so you’ll find a way to teach that is comfortable for you and your personality. You’ll find a way to contribute. You don’t have to call it teaching, just call it helping. ’cause everybody loves to do that. Yeah, I like to stand up in the middle of a workshop and literally teach like a teacher. I do like to do solo cast where I’m teaching on a podcast. I like to sit next to somebody and help them with their homework if you will. Do enjoy all of those things, but you don’t have to, you just have to wanna be helpful.


And you’re darn good at it. So I know we covered a lot today, and again, I am grateful for your time, but before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, please tell our audience the best way to connect with you. We’ll certainly include the assets and resources that you shared within the show notes. But what’s the best way to connect with you, Drew?


I am super easy to find. You can go to agency management, which is, I know, the longest URL on the can find me on LinkedIn, you can find me on Facebook, you can tweet at me, you can find me on Instagram. I’m Drew McLellan, M-C-L-E-L-L-A-N, everywhere because I’m old enough to have claimed all of those before anybody else was claiming them. So, it’s super easy to find, and I’m always happy to have a conversation around this. I love talking about this stuff. I love encouraging people to explore how they can really find and take an authority position because it’s gratifying. It’s really fantastic to be sought after and to be helpful in something that you can actually be helpful in. It’s just fun and profitable, which is part of the fun for sure.


Amen. Double benefit for sure. Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and re-listen to Drew’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is you have to take the insights, the guidance, and the recommendations that he shared with you. You have to take them and apply them. And if you do, you’re going to create the year that you’ve always wanted to create. And you’re gonna do it in a really unique and robust way. You’re going to roar into and through this year, the following year, and the years after that. And that’s what we want for you, drew. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. And again, I am grateful that you said yes. I am grateful to have you back on this podcast and for future episodes. But thank you so very much for being our mentor, our guide, and our teacher today to help us move our businesses forward. So thank you so very much, drew. Oh, my pleasure. I’ll be back soon. I’m sure.


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Sell with Authority Podcast

The Sell with Authority Podcast is for agency owners, business coaches, and strategic consultants who are looking to grow a thriving, profitable business that can weather the constant change that seems to be our world’s reality.

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