Generate Leads and Sales

Episode 29: Generate Leads and Sales, with Erik Jensen

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Generate leads and sales, an insightful podcast with Erik Jensen. Learn the other key components of how to generate leads and sales.

Erik Jensen is the chief strategy officer at Predictive and a co-owner. Predictive helps clients build their authority positions in the niche(s) they want to serve — and then — monetize that position in the form of a sales pipeline filled with a steady stream of right-fit clients.

But often — Erik has conversations with agency owners, business coaches, and consultants (that’s our tribe here at Predictive ROI) — and he’s asked questions like…

“Hey — how do I get my list to buy more of my stuff?”

“How do I generate leads and sales for my business?”

And like we talked about in last week’s episode — anytime we let thoughts of “GETTING” our “LIST” to “BUY” — instead of being focused on helping our clients and prospects solve a business issue or challenge they care about … then our thoughts, words, and actions make it pretty clear that we’re more about selling for our benefit and not helping them for their benefit.

Okay — let’s put a pin in that for a second because what might seem like a bit of weird irony — the focus of my discussion with Erik today is actually all about “HOW” to sell – and more specifically – we’re going to talk through and slice apart one of our brand new sales frameworks – just out of the Predictive Lab.

What we’re calling our “HOW” framework.

The framework is based on two private training sessions we delivered to Predictive clients in June and August where we mapped out all of the strategies and tactics for how best to sell the HERO Offer.

If you’ve not yet built your HERO offer – I encourage you to download Episode 28 because Erik and I broke down all of the components…and key questions to work through…for building your HERO offer from the ground up — and — how to price it strategically.

Alright – now let’s come back to today’s discussion.

Our goal for this episode is to share a framework for how to generate leads and sales for your hero offer.

Here’s how…

We’ll highlight the three roles within what we call the “Triangle of Sales”.

And — we’ll define “Transitional Moments” and how each role in the sales process needs a Transitional Moment to seamlessly move one of your prospects along in the process – without them feeling like they’re being moved along.

And – after highlighting each role – we’ll break each down into some core components including the goal for each role – and when done with excellence – your result outcome will be a “sales process”…not “sales activity.”

And because it’s a process…it becomes delegatable and scalable.

Lastly — before we dive in — why are we focusing on the “WHO,” “WHAT,” and “HOW” over the last several weeks in this 3-part series?

Because no matter how long you’ve been running your business — no matter how much experience you have — no matter how successful you’ve been — if we lose sight of the fundamentals…we lose our way and we start showing up as “buy more of my stuff.”

Whether by accident or not – when we show up that way — it feels like a whole lot of not awesome for your clients, prospects, and audience.

So – think of these “WHO, WHAT, HOW” episodes as The Starting Block.


What you will learn about in this episode of how to generate leads and sales:

  • What are “Transitional Moments” — their purpose, how they work, and how you can put them into practice to transition conversations from one stage to the next
  • What are the three roles of an effective sales process or sales team (we call this the Triangle of Sales)
  • What are the primary functions of a sales development representative
  • How can you generate leads and sales without being too aggressive
  • How does the Setter role ensure that leads passed on to the closer are truly “sales qualified”
  • How to obtain “conceptual agreement” so closing sales never feels like closing sales

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Generate Leads and Sales: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI. And my team and I, we 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, well then you’re in the right place.


Do you want proven strategies for attracting a steady stream of well prepared, right fit prospects into your sales pipeline? Yep. We’re going to cover that. You want to learn how to step away from the sea of competitors so you actually stand out on the ground you’re standing on? Yeah. We’re going to cover that too. Do you want to future-proof your business so you can navigate the next challenges that come your way?


Generate leads and sales strategies? Well, absolutely. We’ll help you there as well. I promise you, each episode of this podcast will contain valuable insights and tangible examples of best practices. Never theory. From thought leaders, experts, owners who’ve done exactly what you’re working hard to do. So I want you to think practical and tactical. Never any fluff. Each of our guests have built a position of authority and then monetize that position by claiming their ground, by growing their audience, by nurturing leads and, yes, converting sales.


But all the while, they did it by being helpful. So every time someone from their audience turned around there, they were given a helpful answer to an important question. So their prospects never, ever felt like they were a prospect. I also promise you every strategy we discuss, every tool we recommend will be shared in full transparency in each episode so you can plant your flag of authority, so you can claim your ground and you can fill your sales pipeline again with a steady stream of right fit clients who never, ever, ever were made to feel like one of your prospects.


Listen more on how to generate leads and sales for your business, with Stephen Woessner


Generate Leads and Sales: Erik Jensen’s Introduction


Okay, so I’m excited for you to meet our very special guest expert today, Erik Jensen, and he’s now been my guest for the last three episodes because of this special three part series. In case you’re meeting Erik for the first time. He’s my business partner here at Predictive, and we’ve worked alongside each other for the last ten plus years.


Erik has a depth of expertise that you’ll hear here in just a minute in helping agency owners, business coaches and strategic consultants go deeper into their niche to build their authority position and then create the right content strategy that helps them grow their audience and nurture leads. And I said, just a minute or two ago, increased sales without a prospect ever being made to feel like they were one of your prospects, because no one ever wants to feel like they were a prospect.


And then someone had set a goal to convert them into becoming a new client. But oftentimes, Erik and I have conversations with owners, coaches and consultants all the time. And we get questions like this, Hey, predictive, how do I get my list to buy more of my stuff? And as we talked about in the last two episodes in this three part series, any time we let thoughts of getting or quote unquote list do quote unquote buy, instead of being focused on helping our clients and prospects solve a business issue or challenge that they care about, then our thoughts, words and actions make it pretty clear that we’re more about selling for our benefit and not helping them for their benefit. Okay, so let’s put a pin in that for just a second because what might seem like a weird irony, the focus of my discussion with Erik today is actually all about selling like how to sell. And more specifically, we’re going to talk through and slice apart one of our brand new sales frameworks.


This is just out of the predictive lab and we’re calling it the HAL framework. The framework is based on two private trainings that we deliver to predictive clients in June and then again in August, where we mapped out all of the strategies and tactics for how best to sell the hero offer. So if you’ve not yet built your hero offer, I encourage you to go back and download Episode 28 of the podcast because Erik and I broke down all of the components, like all the key questions that you need to work through for building your hero offer from the ground up and how to price it strategically.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: The Importance of Roles in The Sales Process


All right. So now let’s come back to today’s discussion. Our goal is to share a framework for how to generate leads and sales for your hero offer. Well, here’s how we highlight the three roles and what we call the triangle of sales. And then we’ll define what we call transitional moments and how each role in the sales process needs a transitional moment to seamlessly early move one of your prospects along in the process without them feeling like they’re being moved along.


And after highlighting each of the roles, we’ll break down each of these into core components, including the goal for each role and when done with excellence, your result outcome for the entire thing will be an actual sales process, not just sales activity, because when it’s a process, it becomes delegated, able and scalable. Just like Michael Gerber recommended back decades ago when he wrote the emails.


So lastly, before we dive in, why are we focusing on the WHO, the what in the how over the last several weeks in this three part series? Because no matter how long you’ve been running your business, no matter how much experience you have, no matter how successful you’ve been, if we lose sight of the fundamentals, we lose our way and we start showing up as Buy more of my staff, whether by accident or not.


When we show up that way, it feels like a whole lot of not awesome for your clients prospects and audience. So think of these who, what and how episodes the last three as the starting block. Okay, so without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Erik Awesome. I am glad to be back for the third time on this series, so hopefully people aren’t sick of the advice just yet.


But this is, this is really where hopefully what we’re going to do is we’re going to be addressing where the rubber hits the road for a lot of agencies and where they struggle, which is which is the sales process. And you nailed it when you were talking about how for a lot of agencies, there’s a lot of sales activity, but there’s not a sales process.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Why Sales Growth Can Be a Struggle


And what process does exist is mostly living in an agency owner’s head or they consider the process to be, Well, we have some contacts in our Sierra. Well, okay, so let’s go back to even though the sort of kind of goes off the framework just a little bit, but it’ll hook back into the framework. When you said struggle, why do you think that there is that struggle?


So I think there’s a couple of reasons why agency owners, coaches and consultants struggle when it comes to sales growth. The first and the biggest one is that most people don’t like sales. For a lot of people, sales is something that is uncomfortable. It’s scary. It’s kind of a dirty word. Almost like they feel like they’re doing something that’s dishonest and so they don’t want to.


The other reason why sales also tend to be a little bit of a challenge is imposter syndrome and self-doubt. Yeah, a lot of times people are afraid that what it is that they’re selling, they might not be able to deliver on. right. And it’s hard to state with confidence in a room like, we’re going to do this.


We’re going to do that. When you don’t truly believe that you can deliver on what it is that you’re promising to deliver on, especially if you’re selling something new, like if they follow the advice that you outlined in episode 28 regarding hero offer, you know, that might be something new. Like they may have done pieces of it or maybe all of those pieces, but never as a particular thing they offer.


And so even though they have lots of skills and competency built around the entire thing, but as that package is the highest hero offer, it might feel different enough to where like what you just said creeps in, right? Right. Yeah. And there are a couple of theories or ways of going about thinking about this that that may be helpful for some people.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Aim To Help Your Clients.. ALWAYS


It may not be helpful for others, but odds are pretty good. And I think this one is universally true. Odds are pretty good. You are better at the solution than your clients are. So even if you’re not perfect at it yet, if you go into it knowing that one, you truly are going to be helpful because you have a lot more experience in this than than your clients do, even if it’s not this exact way of building it or this exact process or this exact outcome that you’re aiming for, you know, you spent time with in this space, and this is where you’re going to spend all your time thinking and trying to improve it.


Clients are not there moonlighting like this stuff, and so they do need the help. Even if this is not necessarily the perfect answer. The truth is there is no perfect answer. There is no perfect solution. There is no perfect product or service. Because even if it was perfect for one person, that’s not going to be perfect for somebody else.


So I think one is to give yourself a little bit of grace that you’re not aiming for perfection. You’re aiming for the right thing to be able to help your clients. You just want to help them generate leads and sales. And if you’re coming at it from a place of truly wanting to be helpful, you’re going to put in the work to do a good job and you’re going to learn along the way and you’re going to be able to help other people in the future more.


That’s true, but that’s okay. Yeah, indeed. Otherwise you’re not going to be able to help anybody ever. Right. And 100% in. And that’s what makes the how a key component in the fundamentals like we’re talking like one of the one of the starting block items, if you will, because we have to get that right. We have to be good enough about sales to keep the engine going, but be able to do it in such a way that it doesn’t feel schmaltzy for your prospect feeling like they just got shoved through a pipeline because that feels like a whole lot and not awesome to anybody, Right?


Right. People don’t want to feel that way. Your clients and new customers don’t want to feel like they just got converted into something. And then also, to your point about most people don’t like sales, they too need a sales process that doesn’t feel schmaltzy or schmaltzy that they’re doing something that’s inappropriate or whatever. And also that it’s easy for them to do.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Repetition is the Key


Right, Right, right. And easy is one of those weird terms. We always want to do something that’s easy and that’s a laudable goal. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the way that most things get easier is through repetition. Amen. That’s it. Like, that’s the secret sauce for making most things easy in life is to do them enough times that they get easier.


It’s not over, bullet. It’s. It’s a practice. Well, okay, so I know that one of your favorite stories about repetition are the Beatles. Instacart Right, Exactly. So they went in and before they went to Stuttgart, they were a band, That’s true. But they had zero Polish. They had songs that were strung together. They had a stage presence that was pretty average, if not, you know, below average.


And their agents said, Cool, you’re going to go here and you’re going to perform here and you’re gonna perform a lot. You’re going to be performing hours every day for months. Now, when most people hear that, they’re like, Not the Beatles. You can’t be making them do that. Like they fill up stadiums, right? They go out, they perform for a couple of hours.


They get all the accolades then. Then they go away. It’s like that’s not how it started. And they did push back a little bit against their age and their age and said, Don’t care, you’re going to go and you’re going to put in the reps because by the time you leave here, you’re going to have the polish. You need to be in front of all the other stages that I want to get you on.


And they did. They learned their blocking, they learned their songs, they learned their transitions. They learned how to communicate and play with the audience. They learned all of these things that only come with repetition, repetition, repetition. So one of the sayings that my mom said, she repeated this a lot, which is kind of funny, but is repetition, AIDS, retention.


Right. And so AIDS retention, right. That’s awesome. So she uses it for anything in education as far as spelling words, math, like all these things. And of course, she repeated that phrase enough times that now I have that burned into my memory forever. But repetition fades, retention. And so that a lot of times what makes things easier is that it’s easier for us to step in and do it.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Bringing Your Knowledge into The Sales Process


It’s easier for us to know that we’re on the correct path. It’s easier for us to quickly recall the information or the next steps, right? We can do all of this faster than what we could if we’ve not done this before. Okay. We’ve got knowledge to fall back on practice, to fall back on experience, to fall back on.


Learning how to generate leads and sales is just the first step. And so what we’re talking about today is how do we bring that into the sales process, which for many people feels like they’re kind of reinventing the wheel for big chunks of it, if not all of it, right? But at least for big chunks of it. Every single time you write, the proposal is different. Every time you know, your presentation is different every time you’ve got to figure out how to pitch it.


Your creativity is different every time in the story you get to tell. So you got to figure out how to pitch it, right? So you’re talking about all of this stuff that seems different. Well, the client’s challenges are different every time, etc., etc.. Okay. And I get it. All of those things are true. But what I am saying is there are ways to be able to add processes to your sales that any company can apply and it falls into what you kind of talked about before.


There’s three roles, three goals, and it’s about process, not activity or people. Yeah, and we’re going to step into the three roles of three goals in just a second. And thank you for bringing our focus back to that, because when we do this well, there’s there’s a word that Erik and I like to use inside predictive and also with our clients too, when we’re in the trenches with them going through like improving sales process and all of that and that is at the end.


It’s not, to Erik’s point, right, a proposal that’s different from the last one. The reason why we’re suggesting the hero offer, like we did in the last episode in guiding you toward creating one is because then it gives you the opportunity to create the repetition. If the process is different or the deliverables are different, the result outcomes are different every single time.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: The Conceptual Agreement


You’re not going to be building the repetition. It’s work, but it’s not repetition over and over and over and over again. That leads to the excellence and so but at the end of this process, it’s going to also then give you the ability to stop sort of like shooting in the dark as far as the proposal and hoping that they say, yes, because what you’re going to get before you actually send the proposal is what Erik and I like to call a conceptual agreement.


So when you’re working this process correctly, your prospective client has said yes to the scope of work. They’ve said yes to the pricing, they’ve said yes to the timing. Before you actually even hit send. That’s more of just a transactional formality as opposed to, gosh, I hope when they read the proposal, they say yes, because they’re convinced or persuaded or something that’s inside the proposal.


You’ve done all that work, are you right? And I do want to say before anybody that is listening decides that they’re going to shut it off or they’re mentally putting up blocks because they’re not interested in selling the same thing to every client. What we’re talking about here still works, even if you want to sell something that’s different because this is about your sales process.


And even if you can’t get everything down to repetitions, what if we can get 70% of your sales process? Not repetitions, but more than 70% of your sales process still gets better, right? Okay. So this isn’t this is not us trying to say one size fits all. If you don’t do this and all of a sudden none of this stuff works.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Optimizing The Sales Process


What we are saying is we know that you can kind of optimize and proselytize 100% of your sales process. Yeah, okay. But there are gradients along this path, and I encourage you to pick up as many of these gradients as you can and implement them. I’m kind of glad that I just heard you say the word proselytize.


I said that the other night at two, Christine, and I said, Is that even a word I think I might have I might have just heard you say it enough that word. So I don’t I’m not now, now I know I’ve got this. It feels like it should be a word. If it’s not a word. Yeah, we’re going to make it or.


Yeah, okay, perfect. And we’re going to dominate the SEO for it if it’s a new word. So way back when, when writing the first book, the SEO handbook, my publisher said, because I put it in, I put it in like chapter one or two or something like that, making the content taxable. Okay. yeah. Okay.


Yeah. And so my publisher looped back to me and said like when I was going through the editing process because the editor said, That’s not a word, but it should be in, right? And I’m like, Yeah, well, it’s we’re creating content that can be indexed. Its indexing is indexed. Yeah. Onto the next question. We’re keeping that in there.


Okay. For me, anyway. Okay, So let’s talk about three roles. Yes. Triangle sales. The three roles. Okay. So, what is the first one? Let’s work around the triangle. Okay. So there are three roles that happen within the sales process. These are three distinct sets of activities, three distinct goals and three distinct sets of requirements that they need to be able to do their job well.


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Generate Leads and Sales: 3 Distinct Goals During the Sales Process


Now, I know the first thing that’s going to happen is someone goes, Well, I don’t have a sales team. It’s all me. That’s fine. Guess what? You’re still doing all three of these things. You still have these three sets of requirements, you still have these three sets of activities, you still have these three goals you’ve got to be able to accomplish.


It doesn’t actually change. It just means we want you to be conscious of the fact that you are doing these different sets and you’re not turning them into this weird, mushed amalgamation of stuff. Okay? Because if you don’t have clarity around the activities that you should be doing, then you’re going to do them out of order. You’re going to do them at random and you’re going to be following a gut as far as what you think should be happening.


First and again, what you’re doing is your activity. You’re not creating a process if you’re not doing it on a regular, consistent basis. Right. Okay. So we’ll just talk about the first role. And this is the sales development representative, the SDR, because again, we still use way too many acronyms with a predictive but the sales development representative is essentially where you start on the sales process go, okay, so when we think about the activities that a sales development representative is doing, they are finding your right fit clients, okay?


That’s their job. They’re searching through databases, they’re identifying people, and they’re making that initial connection. That’s it. Like that. That’s the majority of what they’re doing. You can add nuance to it. You can do different things. You can load more and play other games. But if you do too much, you’re going to take them away from the core function, which is identifying and connecting with the right fit people.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Using A Tool for Searching Right Fit Clients


So if that’s their activity, great, so then we say, well, what makes it possible for them to do their activities? What are the things that they have to have? Right? So the first one is they have to have a clear right fit client avatar. Otherwise, they’re going to identify and connect with everybody, which doesn’t actually help. Well, okay, hang on just a second here, because this would be a good way to point back to two episodes ago with the WHO framework, because we broke down, right fit client Avatar in how to put all of that together.


Yep. So if you’ve got that, you’ve already checked off the box. Yep. For what it is that your sales development representative needs. Another thing that they absolutely have to have is they have to have a database or a tool to use that they can search. Okay, Now we sort of talked about that a little bit within the loop when we talked about the patterns that your clients live in.


And so and certainly your niche and everything along those lines, you need all of that stuff to search through any database and all that stuff to identify what is a good database. But whether you’re using LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Facebook, an industry list that you were able to get a hold of, whatever that happens to be, it has to be a database that you can search and that you have a tool to be able to search it.


So say somebody goes to an industry event and the event organizer has an app and all of the attendees are part of the app. So, you know, is that a quote unquote database, like a skill database? No. But the way that you’re defining it. Pond And also searchable because the list of attendees is a part of that so that fits right that fits.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Post Good Content Regularly for Your Connections


You can hand that to someone and say, okay, here’s the 500 names. We want you to go and connect with them so you can do that. A sales development representative needs that. And one of the other things that they really need is they need you to be regularly sharing your firmly planted flag of authority. Okay. So what do you know?


Right. So that’s it. That’s a big one right there. So when a sales development representative reaches out and wants to connect with someone, imagine if, let’s say I’m in, I’m an agency that specializes in helping companies within the aquatic sports space. All I do is I help companies within that space. Great. And then somebody reaches out to me and says, Hey, I want to connect.


I’m really good, or I’m really excited about doing work that has to do with trucks. Yeah, I don’t care about that. Okay. Right. So that’s a great dichotomy. By the way, It is one of the water ones that I am. They’re different. We want to or very like, hey, I sell steak door to door, let’s connect. Right like that.


That would be weird. There’s no connection. So what you want to be doing is you want to be putting out good regular content that is firmly in your space. You’re planting your flag of authority within your space so that when your sales development representative reaches out, reaches out and says, Hey, we should contact, they’re going to check you out, they’re going to go look.


Yep. When they look and they go, Hey, this person has to do with all sorts of things that I care about. They’re going to go, Yeah, let’s connect. Now. If they go and it’s all about, I don’t know, trucks or like I said, selling steaks door to door, they’re going to go, No, that isn’t what I’m interested in.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Serving Up the Transitional Moment in The Sales Process


Why would I connect with you? That feels spammy. You actually lose reputation in that process. And so all of this stuff needs to be aligned. Okay. All right. So those are the things that a sales development representative needs. We know this because if with clients that we worked alongside, when we do the sales development role and they haven’t firmly planted their flag, the results, the connection results, the acceptance is of communication, the acceptance of being out of the list, all those other sorts of things drops by half or more.


Right, Right. So we know that this makes a difference. And then the third thing that someone that the sales development representative needs, because they need a transitional moment, this is their goal. What are they trying to get someone to do after they generate leads and sales? Yes. Okay. And it needs that the transitional moment needs to be something that lets the next person, the setter.


This is the next person in the sales, the sales process does what they need to do. Okay. Well, okay. So hang on just one second before that piece will come back to that place. But going back to like yesterday when you and I were recording a whole bunch of videos for the WHO framework, one of the things I loved about how you broke down that framework is in the third column, and I know I’m describing a visual here and nobody can see it.


But in the third column where we talk about problems and then and then there are ponds and, and then there are stories in between, right? So like three blocks, if you will, problems, stories, ponds. One of the things that I thought was really smart about how you’re describing that was it’s not about getting somebody to do something. It’s about creating a transitional moment that is clear and obvious, not persuasive, but obvious that if somebody participates in what that transitional, transitional moment is, and I know you’re going to explain that here in just a second, like what that moment is, but it’s going to help them solve a problem that they care about.


Yep. You’ve been able to serve up the transitional moment, maybe nested in a story that is relevant to your point, like water versus trucks, right? That is relevant to the niche and you likely served it up in the location of the pond. Right? Right. So you met that to get this. This is why someone should care. The story is the vehicle that you’re using to talk about that problem.


Then, you share that story in the pond. Right. And so, yeah, absolutely. So a transitional moment is a change in a relationship. So the question that you have to ask yourself is why do you want your sales development role that your representative to do to change the trends, change the relationship? Okay. So for sure, we’re saying that they should identify them and they should try to connect with them.


Learn more about how to generate leads and sales by attending our next open mic Q&A


Generate Leads and Sales: Opting People into The List


Okay. That’s maybe that’s enough for you. For us, that’s not enough for us. We view that as, okay, those are those are the first things that we need to do. But the transitional moment is your job as a sales development representative is to get people to go from that database and opt into our list. That’s what we want. And we have a specific thing that we want them to opt in for.


And that’s our cue. It. So our Wednesday open mic, how to fill your sales pipeline Q&A, right? That’s what we want them to do because we know that we can take someone from us being faceless, nameless, etc., from within a database. We can connect with them and they’re going to go, these people actually have something that might be of value to me.


And then we can say, Come and meet us right now. Now we do have the email address and we’ve had a chance to actually have a dialog with that person. That’s a big transitional moment to go from. I’m on a database so I’m chatting with you. Really Cool. Well, in, in, in sometimes, you know, working alongside our sales development representative to your point about the content, somebody might listen to an episode of this podcast, for example, they might go to our resources section and maybe the order was already booked for free.


Right. And surprises like why don’t you have to pay for shipping? What if I live in France? Will they still ship it to me? Yup, we sure will. And then to your point, then going through our website or whatever they might see the Q&A or once they get on the list or whatever, then they might connect with us on LinkedIn, then they get the invite to the Q&A.


So they’ve got these things like even sometimes before the Q&A. And you and I have heard this a number of different times. It’s like you guys, you sounded authentic inside the podcast. And then I got a copy of the book and I was surprised when it arrived. And then but I was still kind of not 100% sure until I went to the Q&A.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Creating Content to Improve Your Brand


You answered questions in full transparency, good, bad or otherwise shared the data. And then it was like, well, maybe I could trust them to actually have a conversation that is going to pounce on me like I’m fresh meat. Right? Right. So that’s why that’s that. That’s the goal for the sales development roles, because we know from a transitional moment standpoint that right there, that transitional moment is the critical one where we’re able to go, okay, the relationship is getting established and we can prove that we are.


We are. And they can come a little bit out of the wood line, so to speak. If we’re talking about Drew McClellan’s, you know, example of the deer analogy, clients may be like deer in wood lines, right? So that again, sales development role, their activities, they’re going to be finding and connecting with the people and driving to a transitional moment.


Getting people to the transitional moment is their goal. And there are a few things that they need to have in order to get it right. They have to have a clear avatar. They’ve got to have a database that they can actually search. And you have to make sure that you’re setting it up so that the people that they connect with actually believe that you’re the right person to connect with.


Your sales development role is not about creating that content or not making your website better and more efficient for those things. They’re not sharing all of the great stories that you do not, they’re not the experts and thought leaders in the business. Nope. But they do need those things in order to do their job efficiently. So now let’s imagine this is you in this role.


So you have all of those things. Do I have all of those things? Right? Sorry. I should say this is rhetorical for the listeners. Think about yourself as that really accurately. But so think about yourselves and go, okay, do it like I’m doing this role. I have to do this work. Did I set myself up to fail?


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Generate Leads and Sales: The Point of The Transitional Moment Is to Be Helpful to Your Clients


Do I not have these things available? Do I not have these three things that I gotta get right? And do I not have a clear goal for the activities that I’m taking that are taking part in this set of activities? Yeah, because if I’m not, I’m not going to be very good at it. It’s going to be hit or miss.


As far as whether it works or not, it’s going to be an uphill battle in the work that I do. It’s going to be less efficient and I’m not going to have any sort of measurable in a good, clear way to know, hey, this is how many people I got to the transitional moment, this is how many people I connected with, or this is how many people I identified.


This is how many people I connected with. This is how many people I was able to convert into the transitional moment. Well, if you’ve got those, you’ve got measures. And if you got measurements, you can prove right. And there’s no selling at this stage. No, it’s all about being helpful. Right? It’s 100% about being helpful, being dialed in around the WHO, hence the WHO framework, and then being able to share a transitional moment that is all about the participants and attendees.


This is not inviting somebody to a Tupperware party where you’re trying to sell them as soon as they step into the room because that feels yucky. You hate it when somebody does that to you. Please don’t do that to your audience. That shows up because it feels GROSS. Well, it’s not just you’re not going to try to sell them as soon as they walk in the room.


You’re not going to try to sell them. Right? That’s not the purpose of this transitional moment. 100%. Great, great point of clarification. Thank you for that. It is about being helpful. That is it. And that’s the end of the story. Right? Right. Okay. So anything regarding the relationships, trust developed because you are showing that you care, right? You know what you’re talking about.


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Generate Leads and Sales: What Makes a Sales Qualified Lead


Do you think we’re missing anything under sales development? Representative SDR, before we move to Sutter, if folks get that right, they will be heads and shoulders better off than 90% of agencies, coaches and consultants out there. Yeah, I totally agree. Okay, so center next stage Auditor. Okay, Center. The whole purpose of having the center is to just qualify the leads.


Generate leads and sales is just the beginning. Yeah, that’s all the activities. Okay. Just like the sales development role is all about identifying and correcting, it is all about qualifying the leads. Yep, that’s the activity. Okay, so what do they need to be able to do that? Well. Well, they need a clear qualifications set of what makes a sales qualified lead. And I know that that seems like a no brainer.


But if you tell me, Hey, I need you to make sure that someone is a sales qualified lead and they come back to you and go, I don’t know what a sales qualified lead looks like. What is that? And you don’t have an answer. How can they do their job? And or if you’re making it up on the fly or if you’re making it up on the fly, or if the qualification is, can they pay for it?


Right. Then what’s going to happen is going to get a lot of bad stuff that ends up going your closer, which is that which is the next one. But We’ll talk about that later. So anyway, you need clear qualifications on what makes and ask you. Well, all right. So then you’ve got to have that work done. You also need to make sure that they understand your value ladder so that they know what they’re qualifying for.


Okay. So for some context here, because we don’t use we talk about value ladder a lot inside client meetings, insight, starting block and all of that kind of stuff or whatever. But some additional context as to what that is and how you’re and how you’re using it. I should say your value ladder is that your set of products or services is arranged in a way that is from those that are most likely to sell in.


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Generate Leads and Sales: The Good, Better, Best Model


Typically at a lower price and typically where clients start all the way up to your most premier products and services are really simple way to think of a value ladder that we’ve all seen is imagine you’re going in, you’re going to buy some software as a service program and they’ve got the starter, their basic they’re pro and they’re enterprise level solutions, right?


It’s a good, better, best model. That’s their value ladder. The value ladder starts with good, goes to better ends at best. Okay. So typically speaking your starter needs to understand what it is that you’re trying to get them to qualify for. So if you’ve got a good, better, best model, we’ll just run with that one because it’s an easy one for most everyone to know.


If you’re like, Look, all we want to do is we want to sell enterprise-level stuff, Well then your center needs to be making sure that they’re qualifying for people that can afford and need all of the enterprise level stuff. Because if what they do is they go for these people who are awesome at basic $12 a month, they can afford that $700 a month for the enterprise level.


no, they can’t do that. But they can spend $12 a month and they send that to the closer and closer guys that is what we were trying to sell. Yeah, right. They’re qualifying for the wrong thing. So they need to understand your value ladder and know what it is that they’re qualifying for in order to do a good job.


And lo and behold, they should also have a clear transitional moment that someone can step through. Okay, so that’s a Q & A SDR. What’s the transitional moment at Sutter? Okay. So the most common ones involve some sort of dialog. You’re not going to be able to get all of your sales qualifying information just from them filling out a form.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Experiment On How to Get Sales Qualifying Information


Okay, that can happen sometimes. All right. And there are certainly business models that use that. So if that works for you or you want to experiment with that, you want to have a 27 questions form to fill out, great. Do it. Okay, that’s fine. But for most agencies, coaches and consultants, what it is, is they have this conversation with someone.


And so that looks like a discovery call that looks like a 30-minute session with someone that looks like sending them an email that they need to answer two or three questions. Okay. Which is Stephen, obviously. What I like because that’s what we do, right? We send out an email that says, Hey, tell us about X, Y, and Z. Okay, So I’ll mention the questions that we include in that email here just for a second.


But when you mentioned email chat purposes, I’m putting in a chat, I’m reading on my notes here when you mentioned a dialog and it could be a call. So let me, let me see the reverse of that, because you mentioned like the 27 questions. So Dr. Angela Lori, who helps aspiring authors get their books published, write business owners get their books published.


So in a previous episode here on the podcast, she was just so wicked smart. It was just amazing. And then you and I were talking about how she has this really in-depth pre-qualification form on her website, like many questions before you can book a call. So would you consider that form? Would you consider that to be the transitional moment?


Right is because until that is filled out and reviewed, then you wouldn’t want to send someone to the closer. Sure, that makes sense because that’s the. Okay, I totally get it. All right. Okay. Because your closer is typically the most expensive person to have from an experience standpoint apart from the ones who generate leads and sales. Yeah, a lot of times, even if an organization has a sales team, the closer the owner is.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Knowing If Your Sales Qualified Lead Is the Right One


Okay, So we want to be careful about how many people make it to the closer because it’s the most expensive time that we’ve got. Okay. So part of it is because we want to directly measure and this is what’s lovely, right, is when a sales qualified lead finally goes to the closer. But we know the close rates.


So now let’s say this isn’t the end. Well, now you can measure whether or not it’s the right salesperson or not. Yeah, that’s as if everything else has been consistent and you’ve tested all this and you’re like, these are the right people at the stores are finding this, these are the right qualifications that the setter is looking for.


And then the closer comes in, and you were doing it before and you had a close rate of 80%. They come in, and they’ve got closer to 30% and they go, It’s the wrong people. You go, No, it’s not. We know this already. It’s not. Yep. And so you no longer have to pay the guilt tax or the doubt tax lover that we see agency owners pay all the time when it comes to the magical mythical new business person where they keep them on the payroll for six, seven, nine months at a time.


And they’re, you know, they’re out 70,000, $80,000 from recruiting and training and salary and all these other sorts of things. And the person just continues to give them the excuses of, well, I just need better qualified people. Right.In some. And I know that at least I think that you would agree with this. Sometimes they might be right.


Right. They might be right because there is no thought leader inside the business. They’re not planting the flag of authority, like you said. They’re not a steady stream of content. They’re aimlessly wandering through the wilderness with the right fit and all of that. So sometimes a busy dev person is tasked with, well, we run a business, you now try to figure out how to sell it, do all of this.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Modularize The Sales Process


Right. And like and we’ll support you, blah, blah, blah. I will show up for meetings and that kind of stuff. That’s not a business process that is actually setting the business person up to fail. Right? You didn’t give them tools, you didn’t give them the clear path that they need to do. You didn’t modularize the sales process.


You just create a word again, right now I think that one really. But you created modules that you can string together into a sales process. my gosh. People have got to be like, seriously, because these guys are who we’re listening to. All right. So, so that you can measure the success in each one. Yeah, right.


Because if you can measure the success in each one and you can improve the outcome from each one, right, then you can no longer rely on a person. You can no longer rely on just activities, right? You can actually say this is what needs to be done. And regardless of who is here, we know that this is what we can expect from the process again.


So if you ever want to hand off business development in your business, then you have something to hand off. You have something to hand off, and you can do it with confidence and you can do it with measurements, right? Just boy, I hope I find the right person. I really like them because they’re amazing. Salespeople are very good at selling themselves in interviews.


Go figure. Yes, indeed. So, people are not anti-salespeople. I just want to. Of course not. But this is an anti-wasteful effort, right. And less throwing spaghetti at the wall and more doing what can to build a stable business that is predictable and does what it’s supposed to do without you having to micromanage it as an owner. Amen.


And if there’s anybody who should take offense to that, it would be me, which I don’t like. You distill me down to my core, which is sales. If there’s one thing that I’m good at inside predictive, it’s business. And so I take no offense to that but that’s 100% accurate. So before we move on to the closer piece, is there anything else on the centerpiece I just remembered I said that I would mention the two questions that we use in our prequel email.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Know Your Plans for The Rest of The Year


And then I didn’t do those because we’re good there. And again, if people do those things, they’re going to be so much better off than the vast majority. So here, here are the questions. So went and it’s in it. It literally is only two questions and I’ll give them the two questions verbatim. So somebody fills out a contact form, let’s say, on the predictive ROI website or, you know, they might get in touch with a link to us on LinkedIn or they’ll say something in our Facebook group, “Hey, Predictive, do you think you could help with, you know, so-and-so, whatever”, or if such and such, I should say, then we will, as part of our setting process, as Erik just described, we will send an email. It’s not a super complicated thing. You know, we appreciate your interest. We look forward to learning more before we get together. We have a couple of questions and we look forward to your thoughts. Question one: What are your most vital priorities or maybe a slight rewording?


What are your three most vital priorities between now and the end of the year? So the first question is, what are your three most vital priorities between now and the end of the year? And the next question is, and what are your hopes or what are the obstacles standing in your way? Or if you want to, you know, massage that language a little bit so it sounds like your voice is fine.


But essentially it’s like, what are they trying to do between now and the end of the year and what are the roadblocks, what are the obstacles, what standing in their path? What are the key constraints? Pick a word that matches your voice. But essentially what is in their path, keeping them from accomplishing one, two and three. If they don’t answer that, then it’s fine.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Connect With Someone Who’s Really Interested


They stay in the ecosystem, right? And then maybe your sales development representative will, you know, with the transitional moment that Erik’s talking about, then they’ll resurface, do something else or whatever. The time is not right or whatever. So if they don’t answer that email, it’s not like every other day for the rest of their life, you’re getting in touch with them and badgering them so that you can move on to closer.


That’s not how that works. But if they do answer the question in a way that is now to Erik’s point, you can now qualify them as a sales-qualified lead. You know, if their answers align with how one, you can be helpful and it aligns with, you know maybe the hero offers something else you value later than yay for that.


If it’s not, then you connect them to somebody else in your ecosphere. Like when we were talking about that with Pam Slim, you can maybe make a connection to somebody else, right? If you can’t help them. So. All right, Erik, do you think I missed anything on the pre-qualification email? Yeah, I think I No, I don’t think there.


I think there’s one thing I forgot to mention that I should and that is the setter gets anybody who you believe has reached a certain threshold from a transitional moment standpoint. Okay. So we mentioned for the SDR that they’re clearly sending people to the Q & A because the Q & A is a database for the setter to reach out to and, you know, just start developing a little bit of relationship and things along those lines.


But as somebody reaches out to your organization to great, then, absolutely, the setter would respond and say, hey, here’s, here’s here’s the next transitional moment you’ve got to go through, Right? So the center has places that are grabbing from and then they have people that they’re sending them that, and they have a place that they’re sending those people to, which is that transition just the same way as the SDR has places they’re grabbing people from place, that they’re actively trying to send people to come.


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Generate Leads and Sales: The Role and Responsibilities of a Closer


All right. All right. So, closer activities are not about closing the sale and getting the proposal signed. Yeah. Or getting your contract signed or getting the check written in cash. However, it is when you decide what project it started. Okay, because we know that there are different reasons that are different ways that people measure that.


So the closer needs a couple of things, just like every other role in order to do it well, one, they have to have a clear value ladder. These are the arrows in their quiver for the sales process. You don’t want your closure to go in with one size fits all. You do want your center to have set up the prospect for a particular product or service that you’re aiming to fulfill, but your closer is going to have the nuance of Maybe that’s not the right fit or maybe that is the right set.


Okay. And you need to be able to give them the flexibility and the options to be helpful when it comes to finding a solution, not just awesome, You’re in front of me. Great. I have a hammer. So you look like a nail. Yup. Okay, so they need to have a clear value letter. There should be more. I’m a big fan of between three and five options.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Aim For a Conceptual Agreement


I think more than that gets too confusing. And less than that can be a little bit constraining. Although two options is certainly something that works, right? Do you want the entry package or do you understand the package? Fair enough. And again, if they have a clear hero offer that really helps the closer know where they are, they’re default should be.


Yes. Barring anything else, this is the product that they product or service that they are likely going to be selling and the seller is likely or should have been setting up to qualify this person. All right. And then they’re aiming for conceptual agreement. Now, Stephen, you mentioned this one before. I love conceptual agreement. It is so simple and it is so powerful and most people have either never heard of it or don’t do it.


Do it. Don’t do it consciously. Yeah, and I know you’ve been training on this before, but conceptual agreement is where you get someone to agree to the work that’s being completed and the price that it’s going to cost and literally say, okay, I want to make sure that we’re on the same page. This is the work that we’re going to be doing.


Yes, Yes, that is the work that we’re going to be doing. Okay. And just so you know, this is the price that’s going to cost. Is that comfortable for you? Is that possible for you, yes or no? Yes, we can afford that. Okay, great. If the answer is no, then you go, okay, well, then we need it. Let’s talk about scope again because if we need to adjust the price, then we need to adjust the scope.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Ensuring The Proposal Is Understood by Both Parties 


Well, I don’t want to give up the scope. Well, this is the price. Can you make that happen? Yeah, I can make that happen or. No, you’re right. Okay, let’s go. Look what we need to do to adjust scope. Okay, But you’re testing that multiple times or the sales process. So you’re not spending any time writing or sending a proposal that has virtually no chance of being accepted, especially not without.


Yeah, I saw your proposal. I really want to set up a call so that we can go through it because I’ve got some questions. In that case, then you screwed up on the conceptual agreement part. So by the time they get the proposal, it should be a formality right? There shouldn’t be questions, there shouldn’t be doubt, there shouldn’t be.


I didn’t know that this is what was included or I thought this was going to be a different price jump. Right. Because then you just spent a lot of time and effort on a proposal that is probably not going to get accepted and you’re going to have to go rework that proposal. So you just added a bunch of stuff to your plate.


We just said it’s like we’re going to be one of the most expensive people within your organization. You’ve added a bunch of stuff to their plate for no reason. What 100% can almost feel our audience listening to this going, Yeah, that makes me completely uncomfortable. And, I get it because I’ve worked alongside colleagues in the agency business for 25 plus years, almost 30 years.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Ask The Prospective Client to Confirm the Scope


And I have seen colleagues in sales departments with me in the business dev departments, if you will, it sounds better than the sales department, best of departments and I know like, we can’t ask budget questions, we can’t ask like when they might approve something. we can’t ask. We can’t, we can’t, we can’t know. It is inappropriate during the sales process to talk about when to schedule the kickoff meeting.


Like, no, it’s not said it is absolutely appropriate. So Erik, to your point that, you know, asking the prospective client to confirm scope, did I understand everything correctly? Are we missing anything? Have I addressed all of your questions? Do you see any gaps in what we’re talking about? These are not like trying to persuade or cajole or force somebody to say, yes, this is making sure that you haven’t made a mistake, that you haven’t missed something.


Right. Then say right, and that’s right. And then well, that’s our fee for that work is going to be $20,000 or $40,000 or $80,000 or whatever. And then, if it feels easier, like it rolls off the tongue, you might want to say something like, you know, our fee for that type of work is $60 to $70000.


If you want to give them a range, fine. Is that something and this is the way to ask for budget confirmation or conceptual agreement without feeling maybe that you’re boxing somebody in or whatever the fear might be is that something you can take a swing at? Is that or you don’t like the baseball metaphor? Okay. Is that something realistic for you to consider?


And if the answer is, to Erik’s point, imminent hiring or if somebody says, you know, send me a proposal and I’ll give it some thought, then you might want to say no. Let’s go back to scope and let’s see, because I can sense that there’s some discomfort there. And if $70,000 is an inappropriate number, let’s figure out something that actually is realistic for you to consider and say yes to.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Make Your Sales Process More Measurable


Yeah, And it is hard to say. We actually don’t put together proposals until we know we’ve gathered all this information. And the fact that you guys still have some uncertainty around whether this is the right price, let’s make sure that we’ve got that before we put together the proposal. Otherwise, it’s a waste of our time. Put it together, and it’s a waste of your time to review it.


I have been a part of early on in my career so many presentations where the agency was investing non-bailable time toward research and creative and this and that and other stuff. And I get it. I understand it. The spec creative for certain clients is a part of the game. I understand that it’s an anti I understand and then you know when we would invest 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, $50,000 in a presentation, in a pitch or whatever, my golly, there’s got to be a better way to do this, and this is a better way to do this.


Now if you’re in the world of competing for rupees and big, you know, presentation options and, you know, dog and pony shows and that kind of stuff, I get the fact that what we’re suggesting here isn’t what the big brand is requiring. I understand that this is for a different type of client.


And that’s where we said before, you don’t have to take all of this wholesale. Correct. Take the elements that you can implement because it will make your sales process better and more measurable and less reliant on a person and more reliant on a process for 95% of the clients that the typical agency works with, this would be perfect, right?


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Generate Leads and Sales: Show Your Smarts by Asking the Right Questions


Okay. So conceptual conceptual agreement really is a powerful tool if you can do that, even if it’s just asking questions. Because even in those RFP pitches and things along those lines, you can ask questions. Yes, ask questions. Yeah. In, you and I have been through many of the Mercer Island trainings where Robin and Steve Boehler along with Lindsay, have taught because they run those pitches for not only the brands, but then they also help agencies excel during that pitch process.


And it’s staggering to me is staggering to Robin and Steve and Lindsay. When they share the status like you would, you would just be you would just fall over if you knew how few agencies actually ask questions. It’s like we’re afraid to ask questions because if we ask questions, we somehow diminish our opportunity to actually get the client when the reality is, that’s your opportunity to show your smarts by asking questions.


I would go so far as to say and obviously this is not something we’ve talked about a lot before. So this is maybe a little bit off the cuff, but I would go so far as to say most agencies, coaches and consultants are paid in large part based on the quality of the questions they ask, because if they ask the right question, they get the right result.


If they ask the right question, they uncover stuff that nobody else has uncovered and they can change the way that their clients interact with the world image and the way that those clients do business. So asking questions, super, super powerful, that should be your superpower if it’s not already. So before we come in for a landing here, let me suggest something for everyone to kind of tidy this up in a bow or wrap this up in a bow.


So because we just launched this framework, as I mentioned in the introduction, this comes right out of the predictive lab. Erik and I have then designed this framework, literally a visual framework. So if you go to, you’ll be able to get this framework. You can download it for free of course and then you’ll be able to have what we call the how framework.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Know The Requirement for Each of Your Goal


There’s also an additional training video there. I think it’s about 10 minutes or so where Erik and I are, or I think it’s actually just me where I’m going through a few of the key points. But anyway, download the framework because it tracks along with what Erik and I are going through right now.


I should have mentioned that at the beginning because that would be helpful to have as you’re listening to this. But so forgive me for the poor timing, but it’s a helpful resource. Okay, Erik, is there anything else on the closer piece before we come in for a landing? I don’t think so. I think that again, those three roles, sales development representatives, center closer.


Each one of them has requirements. You got have three girls, and each one of them has a goal. And the closer’s goal is to send a proposal to close the sale. Right? So, there are three roles, three goals and activities and requirements for each one of those, whether it’s one person or a team doing it. These are things that you have to get done.


Okay. All right. Before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, please let everyone know the best way to connect with you. Okay. So for me, the best way to connect is you can always connect with me on LinkedIn. So it’s Erik Jensen, Erik with a K and there are a lot of us out there. So you want to put it in.


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Generate Leads and Sales: Closing Remarks


Erik Jensen and Predictive, as far as the search goes, you’ll find me on LinkedIn without any trouble. You can always reach out to me just directly via email if you want to know more on how to generate leads and sales. So it’s [email protected]. And then my favorite thing and this isn’t just because we talked about it but really truly I think it’s an amazing time is to join our free community.


So the register is really simple. It’s as in question-answer and you just click register and there’s no commitment if you want to be there and just be a fly on the wall, be a fly on the wall. The community is awesome and there’s always great questions. Yeah, in the registry.


That makes sure that you get on the notification list when the replay goes live inside the Facebook group. So in fact, if you’re not part of our group, you can find this where you can join the group. And of course, that’s free too.


So, okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and relisten to Erik’s words of wisdom, the key is to take all of that, take everything that he shared with you, along with the how framework and take it and put it into practice and get the repetitions that Erik was talking about about half hour ago when he walked us through sort of the Beatles example.


And the lesson learned for mom, it’s about repetition, repetition, AIDS, retention, right? So getting the reps on the framework is what will then lead you to excellence. So, Erik, thank you again for joining me in this three part series and being our guide and mentor to help us move our businesses onward to the next level. Thank you so much, partner.


Absolutely. I love doing these sessions and I’m looking forward to being back on again at some point in the future.


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