Prospecting Tips

Episode 47: Prospecting Tips, with Stephen Woessner

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Prospecting Tips. From tried-and-true techniques to cutting-edge strategies, it’s everything you need to take. Master this prospecting tips.

For over 30 years, Stephen Woessner has been in the trenches of agency new business strategy working alongside and consulting with hundreds of agencies, business coaches, and consultants — teaching them how to plant their flag of authority within the markets they serve, grow their audience, and fill their sales pipeline with a steady stream of right-fit clients so they can win new business.

Stephen founded Predictive ROI in 2009 and remains its CEO and co-owner, working alongside his business partner, Erik Jensen. Stephen hosts the “Onward Nation” and “Sell with Authority” podcasts with listeners in over 140 countries and over 1,000 episodes. His agency new business and marketing insights have been featured in major media, and he’s the bestselling author of five books, including his latest entitled, “Sell With Authority.”

Prospecting tips? Here at Predictive ROI — we believe that most agencies, coaches, and consultants go about sales and new business development in the least effective, most painful way possible — and that there’s a better way. We call it the Sell with Authority Methodology.

We also believe that we’re entering the era of the AUTHORITY. And if you occupy the coveted “expert” status — you’ll be afforded the highest level of confidence and trust from your clients, prospects, and other stakeholders during the new business process because you have a depth of knowledge and point-of-view that can’t be denied or easily replicated.

Everything we teach and share in our practical and tactical agency new business strategy sessions are designed to help agencies, coaches, and consultants capitalize on the huge shift taking place in business development today. In our hyper-competitive market for awareness and attention — you should look to plant your flag of authority and then leverage this position to fill your sales pipeline with right-fit prospects while developing deeper relationships with existing customers.

And we hope today’s episode that breaks down our fastest agency new business strategy will help you move closer to the goal of building and scaling your business.

agency new business strategy

Agency new business strategies that we break down in this episode of prospecting tips:

  • What is our fastest agency new business strategy
  • Prospecting tips: how we refined the Trojan Horse of Sales Strategy and linked it with building our “Dream 25” list of prospects
  • How to decide which prospects make the list and which don’t (You can download the WHO Framework here)
  • What’s the ideal cadence for staying in touch with each prospect, and will you just send gifts? Discover effective prospecting tips for maintaining communication.
  • How much budget should you invest in building a relationship with each Dream 25 prospect?
  • Will your Dream 25 list — and the criteria you used to build the list — ever need to shift?

Other helpful business development resources:


Prospecting Tips: Full Episode Transcript


Welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and my team and I created this podcast specifically for you. So if you’re an agency owner or 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. So, today’s episode is actually going to be just you and me.  I’ve gotten sort of away from it, and now I’m getting back to my regular cadence of a solo cast every five, six, or so weeks, with holidays and the travel and so forth to Disney for teaching and professional development with my team. I know those sound like excuses, and they are not good ones, but I’ve gotten off my schedule for consistent solocast, which is not excellent.


 so sort of a full transparency moment here. So, getting back to my cadence of every five to six weeks, and actually, we’re running a new experiment inside predictive that is actually starting with next week’s solocast, where we’re going to be taking our solocast, which are going to be actually ramping up the cadence. So let me correct myself when I said every five to six weeks, I think the new schedule is going to be, if I remember the strategy correctly, is that we could end up having between one and two solo casts per month, and here’s why. And we’re going to take each solo cast, and we’re going to slice a golden nugget that sounds arrogant, but maybe take one of the critical things out of the solo cast, and we’re going to turn that into a q and a topic. Then, that question and topic will turn into an actual framework.


So, we’re really trying to raise the bar in our weekly Q and As. They’re not weekly. I think we’re doing two per month now just because of travel and so forth.  Anyway, when we step into our q and going forward, starting with our March 8th, Q and A is going to be,  you know, whatever the golden nuggets are that we’re teaching in the Q and A. They will always be reinforced or guided by a downloadable framework you and your team can use. We’ve received some pretty good feedback regarding how helpful the who, the what, and the how frameworks have been.  so we thought, well, okay, what if we doubled down on that in every single Q and A that we do one to two a month, depending upon our travel schedule?


Learn more about Prospecting Tips by tuning to this podcast: How to Attract Prospects, with Brent Weaver.


Prospecting Tips: A Framework for Strategic Content Creation


Prospecting tips? What if we had that Q and As and a downloadable framework that essentially helped guide that conversation? So that’s what we’re doing, and we’re starting it. We’re taking that back then to the solocast. So essentially, solocast is going to guide some video training that will guide the Q and A and then guide the framework. And then some of that content in a, in a deeper way isn’t going to flow into like our starting block programs and how we work alongside clients. But this is sort of a new experiment that we’re putting into the predictive lab. And I hope that you find it helpful. Okay, so that’s how we get back to the cast cadence and then tie that into a bigger purpose. You know, just a side note here real quick: before we get into the topic of the fastest agency, the new business strategy, we talk about cornerstone and cobblestone content.


Best prospecting tips? In fact, when we’re teaching the workshop, that’s January. In the Build and Nurture Your sales funnel workshop that I teach alongside Drew McClellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, when we’re working at the various tables with participants on the exercises, one of those exercises building is building out the actual sales funnel at the macro level, the micro level, the nano level, and then the existing level and working through all four of those levels by identifying the specific content like at the macro level, the cornerstone content at the micro level, the cobblestone content, and then how all those knit together. And I will tell you that one of the biggest issues participants had was in each stage, like creating new stuff. And every time we create new stuff, it creates this big heavy lift, right? And there’s no leverage in the podcast episode, let’s say, just because this is a podcast episode.


So I’m just using that as an example: the podcast episode, which is the cornerstone content, and then micro-content, which is one of our micros is the q and an open mic q and A that we do. So not knitting those together. And that was my own aha’s, like, well, holy bananas, why don’t we take the solocast, which is in-depth, take some of the golden nuggets out of the solocast, and then we can teach and answer questions around those. Because that format inside the q and a gives us that ability. Why don’t we teach those in-depth and then answer questions about those golden nuggets inside the q and As? So simple aha’s like that. It was fascinating because it was very common for participants or attendees of the workshop, excuse me, to think of big heavy lifts at each of those stages.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: The Fastest Agency New Business Strategy


Prospecting tips? Well, in full transparency, I mentioned the miss from a predictives perspective too. My perspective is that I had missed that, right? And so now, we are just trying to make that even more candid and efficient for us to produce, right? So it makes the process easier selfishly for us to produce, but then it also makes it better because we’re knitting together all of these ideas and providing additional context and help along the way with the q and a’s and the support through the frameworks. So everyone wins through that scenario, okay? So I want you to be thinking about that, sort of bigger idea of the cornerstone to cobblestone macro to micro-nano to existing. And if some of that languaging is unfamiliar to you, I highly recommend ordering, which you could do for free. And I promise you, it is a hundred percent free.


It’s not like jumping through a bunch of hoops to get the free copy of the book; if you go to predictive free hyphen book, I believe that’s it. We’ll also put that in the show notes. You can order a free copy of our book, sell With Authority, the book that I wrote with Drew, and chapter 10, which is the New Business Blueprint, breaks all of that down. Okay? So, alright, and I promise I will tie that into this conversation today about our fastest agency, new business strategy, and how all of that knits together from both a content perspective and a new business sales lead, right? The guiding principle of all of that is something we talk about inside predictive here. Often, I’ve spent nearly 30 years inside agencies, most of that in account services, with a big emphasis on business development.


Prospecting tips? And one of those guiding principles is the shortest path to revenue. So, at the times or at the points of history, that’s not how I want to say it. There have been points in time through the predictive timeline over the last 13 years where I have failed to remember the shortest path through revenue. And I can look back on those moments and see that’s where I aimlessly wandered through the wilderness. From a business development perspective, it’s like, well, I wasn’t as focused there as I could have been here. Why? Because I didn’t focus on the shortest path to revenue. So when I decided to title today’s solocast our fastest agency new business strategy, I’m going to share that strategy with you in full transparency. And it’s actually a compilation of several things feeding into it.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Crafting the Fastest Agency New Business Strategy


But there’s this overarching kind of guiding principle for our shortest path to revenue, okay? So, a couple of things are knitted up into this overall fastest agency, new business strategy. And that is, you may have heard me teach or talk about the Trojan Horse of Sales strategy that’s going to be knitted up into this. You may have heard me teach about the Dream 25 strategy, like the Dream 25 list of prospects knitted up into this. You’re going to hear me refer to the WHO framework.  so the who, the what, and the how. Frameworks are relatively new frameworks that we’ve built and shared. They’re all free, of course, on our website. If you go to predictive, you’ll find them as part of the resources or part of the resource library; excuse me. You can download all three of them or choose whichever one you want.


And we’ll send a right to your inbox. So predictive But I’m going to be pulling aspects of the WHO framework into this conversation, too. And then, given some guideposts or bumper guardrails or whatever around once you build the list of prospects, how often should you stay in touch with them? What do you send, and how much should you budget to build that relationship? You know, we’ve candidly learned those things along the way. We’ve made some mistakes, made some improvements, and made adjustments along the way in course corrections, And we’re still making them.  so predictive is we talk about the predictive lab, which is an ongoing experiment. Are there things that we do well, of course, are there things that we don’t do well?


Here are the best prospecting tips. Yep. And we’re constantly testing and improving in the lab. And so the things that I’m going to share with you are the result of experiments, some good ones and some not-so-good ones. And then I’m going to share the result outcomes with you from those experiments and how we’ve adjusted along the way so that you can take this conversation and hopefully take some golden nuggets out of it and put it into your agency’s new business strategy and be better for it. Okay? Alright. So first, we discovered some of the strategies that are in this overall topic. I mentioned the Trojan horse a few minutes ago. So, back in May of 2015, you may be familiar with this story; if you are, I apologize for repeating something that you already know. Back in May of 2015, my business partner and I, you might know Eric Jensen, and I came back from being onsite with one of our clients, actually our largest client at that particular time.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: How a Daily Podcast Rescued Our Business


And the two days on-site did not go well. In fact, we came back having lost the client. I mean, just things really did not go well. So we came back and faced the reality that we were overstaffed and did not have enough revenue. And so we had to make some tough decisions. And it was either we’re going to need to let some of our teammates go, or we’re going to have to double down on sales, lead gen and biz dev, and that big bucket of biz dev. And so, I really didn’t know what to do. And as I wrote about in one of our books, I tell this story at the beginning of our book: profitable podcasting.


Here’s how prospecting tips are essential in modern business. I’m sitting at my dining room table, looking out the window, and watching my daughter play with her friends. At the time, she was eight years old, playing at the park in our neighborhood. I could see it from the window, and it was this beautiful Sunday afternoon in May here in Wisconsin. And she’s just having a great time, and I’m sitting there at the table. It couldn’t have been more than 180 degrees in the opposite direction; it was just literally sick to my stomach. Not sure what I’m going to do.  and so I write this email to my predictive team, and I say, okay, this is what we’re doing. We’re going to launch a daily podcast. We’re going to call it on coordination, and I’m going to interview the best business owners that I can and blah, blah, blah, and share their stories and all of this.


And that’s how we’re going to turn the business around. And then I closed my laptop and thought to myself, okay, that’s the strategy. And, of course, that’s not a strategy at all, right? But we did launch the show 30 days later, to my team’s credit. We went from knowing nothing about podcasting to launching our very first podcast. We’ve gone on to air 12,000 episodes because that turned into a significant portion of our business, which I’ll get to in a minute.  but we went from zero to 60 in about two and a half seconds. We launched the show on June 15th, 2015. Because it was a daily show, I think I interviewed a couple hundred people in that period, but as you might imagine, again, there was no strategy in the front end.


It was not a great business development tool for us, right? And I mean, like, how could it be right there? There was no strategy. I was interviewing anybody and anyone,  And we had some incredible guests, right? Incredible guests early on, which were lovely. And they opened the doors to some really smart people. Our guests were fantastic. When I say anyone and everyone, it is because we had no guiding strategy of who we ought to be interviewing and what we should be asking in order to be helpful to the type of audience that we wanted to attract and build. Those strategic pieces were missing.  so that’s why I was aimlessly wandering through the wilderness. So after several hundred episodes and still being in the financial situation that we were in, I had one of those conversations,  you know, one evening with Drew McClellan.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Leveraging Podcasting for Revenue Growth


And I was just, I was frustrated. I was desperate. I was, anyway, just a lot of different emotions. And he said to me, “Okay, you’ve built this podcast, and it’s fantastic. Why not do that for me? And I said, do what for you? I was a little slow on the draw. And he is like, oh, for Pete’s sake, why don’t you maybe build a podcast for AMI? And I’m like, oh, amazing. Okay. Fast forward to launching the Build a Better Agency podcast. Great. Then, about a month or so later, after it had launched, we still had the same issue. I had another call with Drew, and he said, he goes, and if you know, drew, you the question that’s coming help me understand.


Prospecting tips? And so, why aren’t you selling this as a service? And I’m like, to whom? He’s like, your podcast is great. My podcast is great. Why on earth aren’t you selling this as a service? I’m like, to who? He’s like, oh, for Pete’s sake, you’ve interviewed hundreds of people. Why don’t you reach out to a few of them and ask them if they would like to have a podcast? And I’m like, that’s brilliant. And I know that that sounds like maybe eight years later as sort of a very, like, why? Why wasn’t that the clear next step? I get it. But when you’re in the maelstrom of stress and all of that, And maybe you’ve been there too, maybe you’re there right now, it’s difficult to see what that next right step is, even though it might be a, when you take the step, you’re like, duh.


Anyway, so in November of 2015, I sat down and wrote 23 emails on a Sunday afternoon. 14 people said yes to a meeting. Six people said yes to us producing the podcast for them. And we ended up generating $235,000 in revenue, annual revenue, from just those conversations. And I wrote about that in a few books, in full transparency. So that taught me the power of the Trojan Horse of Sales strategy, and we’ve since refined it and blended it into the Dream 25. So, these two pieces can absolutely be the shortest path to revenue for you. Now, that said, a couple of very big disclaimers, very big disclaimers. And that is because sometimes, when I share and tell that story, the person hearing it immediately says, “Yeah, well, I don’t have a podcast, nor do I want to have a podcast.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Channel Revenue Strategy


Prospecting tips? So, that strategy is not going to work for me. So, set that aside. This is a channel-agnostic strategy. It does not mean that you have to have a podcast. That doesn’t mean that you need to interview your very best prospects. Yep, it sure does. And that’s what we’re going to get to here. We’re going to be mixing the opening the door and the power of opening the door through the Trojan horse and then mixing it with being very clear on who your Dream 25 prospects are And what that strategy is so that you’re opening the door with the right people. Okay? So, your fastest path to revenue is to be very clear about who the Dream 25 is. And then employing a strategy like Trojan Horse that is channel agnostic, where you can get in front of your right fit prospects, your Dream 25,  and then be able to have a great conversation with them because you’ve bypassed the gatekeeper. Then you have a great downstream, which is what this process is all about.


Prospecting tips — So, high level, that’s what we’re going to be covering. Let’s start breaking it down. Okay, so I already gave you the 2015 sort of story and how that brought me back to the shortest path to revenue. Then I outlined the Trojan horse at a very high level, meaning that the Onward Nation Podcast, the Onward Nation interview, was the opening the door strategy, the bursting through the gates of Troy with the Trojan horse. I guess I shouldn’t say bursting through the gates of Troy because, as the story goes, it was pulled through the gates of Troy into the courtyard, and then the Greek strike force came out at nighttime and sacked the city. But the whole point is that the cornerstone content you are creating consistently has given you the journalist hat as opposed to an agency owner coach or consultant looking for a new client.


Now, the door opens because you represent an audience in a conduit. The narrower you go, the more aligned your audience will be with your prospective client, and they will want to be in front of your audience, okay? So your content, your cornerstone content, can absolutely be your Trojan horse, and it can be channel agnostic. The only requirement is, is that you in, is that you interview your Dream 25 prospects, okay? So, through that process, I should say, we have refined Trojan Horse’s sales strategy over and over again. I will tell you early on that I thought of these as maybe two different strategies. The Trojan horse was getting in front of a prospect, and then the downstream of June 25; I didn’t see them linked together. And they absolutely are.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: The WHO Framework for Prospecting Success


When you link them together, great things happen. Okay? Great things happen. So we’re going to talk about how we’ve refined it over the course of the last eight years or so, and that refinement is actually the knitting together. Okay? So let’s go maybe to a high level with an objection or a possible ejection, and then we’ll start slicing this big piece apart even further. So maybe you’re saying, Hey, Stephen, I don’t, I don’t have a Dream 25 list of prospects. So, we’re going to talk about how to build your Dream 25 list of prospects in this conversation as well. Then, there is also some additional refining of linking the Trojan Horse of Sales strategy with the Dream 25 piece. Okay? So, let’s go to the Dream 25 piece first and address how to build it. So, this is where I will hook back to one of the frameworks I mentioned to you a few minutes ago.


So, if you go to our resource library, it’s predictive This is where I would love for you to download the WHO framework, and specifically, here’s why. So, there are three main sections in that framework.  so the left column reads, finds, and identifies the middle column, which reads emotionally and logically connects. And then the third column, the right column, reads niche deep dive. So when you master the WHO framework, or let me say that a different way, mastering the WHO framework gives you the ability to actually go into databases like LinkedIn databases, Crunchbase, and others to be able to find the demographic data points that then sync up with the psychographic data points. Here’s a proof point for you. So, during that workshop in January, Drew and I taught right before lunch.


We always do this kind of 15- to 20-minute sort of experiment because I think the perception is that LinkedIn is a great tool that I should be using inside the business. Or is it a different type of database or tool, maybe taking no action and thinking there’s no way to solve the problem? And here’s what’s fascinating. So, in the morning of that workshop, we’re helping participants or attendees get through the niche process, get through the point of view process, and get some real clarity around the who.  and then, as I said, about 20 minutes before lunch, I ask for some volunteers; I tee this up about an hour before we do this, but so that people are thinking about, okay, I’m going to volunteer, or I’m not going to volunteer, whatever.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: The Shortcut to Prospecting Success


So when we’re about 20 minutes away from lunch, I ask for two or three volunteers, and then I open up LinkedIn Sales Navigator, I open up the criteria in the tools, and then we start filling it in. And so we’ll ask, or I’ll ask, I’ll ask very basic questions that tie into the fields that are available in Navigator, right? Industry, employee size, revenue size, location,  you know, those types of things. And then we start to refine, refine, refine. We start thinking about keywords. And the narrower you are, like the niche deep dive piece, the more apt you are to speak to the right keywords and so forth. So here’s what happens. Inevitably, this has not happened, I should say, in all the times that we’ve done this, after five minutes, literally after five minutes, we find a right fit prospect, we find a right fit prospect because we’re using principles, we’re using the guardrails that are inside something like the WHO framework in order to make good decisions.


And then we find very quickly using LinkedIn Sales Navigator; we find the right fit prospect. Okay? So here’s what I’m suggesting, again, at a high level: you and your team sit down with the WHO framework, and you fill that out, and it’s going to push you. I can almost certainly guarantee it will push you to think about the psychographics, demographics, heart, and head that go along with the emotionally logical connection. But if you complete the WHO framework, you will have criteria that you can consider on LinkedIn and start searching, okay? So you build out your Dream 25 list, but I have a few other criteria here that I need to give to you before you do that or as part of the process for you doing that.


But that’s how simple it can be to build a Dream 25 list of prospects. Once you have the list, again, I’m going to give you a few more points here to refine the list, but once you have the list, then coupling that with the Trojan Horse of Sales Strategy to open the door with each of those prospects through like leveraging your cornerstone content as we’ve done with the Onward Nation podcast. So it is an incredible, powerful one-two punch and fits the billing of our fastest agency’s new business strategy. Anytime we launch a new service, anytime we feel like there’s a revenue gap, I immediately go back to, well, when was the last time that I did this? Or when was the last time that I did that? Oh, geez, there’s a gap there. Okay, I need to fill that gap, and I know exactly how I’m going to fill it by doing this type of activity. Is that okay?


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Smart Strategies for Targeted Prospecting


And not losing sight of the discipline it takes to be consistent with it. Okay? So, here are a couple of other criteria when you’re building out your Dream 25 list. So not only do they need to match the criteria that you pull off of the WHO framework and what you’re finding inside LinkedIn, you or Crunchbase or whatever database you’re using, in my opinion, you also need to ask yourself, or let me rephrase. Not in my opinion. Let me give you another criterion that Drew and I teach in that workshop: each of the prospects that are on that list, each of the prospects that are on that list has the, you believe, and I know that this is guesswork early on, you believe that they can represent if they said yes at some 0.5 to 10% of your revenue on an annual basis, five to 10%, right?


Prospecting tips? So you are spearfishing for the right size client. Five to 10% for each one of the prospects that are on that list. The Dream 25 list of prospects needs to represent companies or prospects that can deliver five to 10% of total revenue so that you can invest them in developing a relationship. Okay? So, let’s talk about a couple of other things that are knitting this together. As we start thinking about coming in for a landing here, some questions we often get are, okay, how often should I stay in touch? And we’re going to talk about what you use to stay in touch here in just a minute, but what’s the ideal cadence for staying in front of or being in touch with each of the prospects that are on your June 25 list?


Prospecting tips? And here’s what we typically recommend. Every six to eight weeks, you are sending something smart. And, I don’t mean just gifts, right? ’cause ’cause gifts are great And most people enjoy receiving gifts.  but that’s not the smart piece. In fact, I was recently a guest on an open mic q and with Jamie Shiley; if you know Jamie, she runs the strategic gifting agency called the Expressy based near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. So if you’ve ever ordered our cell with Authority book, and if you’ve ever guested on our show and you’ve received like that beautiful frame under Glass and that kind of stuff, or if you’ve ordered our book before and you received the book and that handwritten note and all of that’s, that’s the brilliance of Jamie’s team at the Express. They do all of that for us.


They are our strategic gifting agency, okay? So Jamie had recently asked me to join her on her open mic Q&A a few weeks ago, where we talked about Dream 25. And one of the things that we mapped out was, okay, like, what are all the things that you should be sending, sometimes gifts, sometimes something different? The whole point is that you’re sending something smart. And if you’re sending a gift that the gift is not self-aggrandizing to you, it’s not something with your logo on it or something like what I call tchotchkes, none of that stuff at all. You’re not sending pens and can coolers and hats and swag. You’re not sending that. What you’re sending is something that’s so awesome that when they open the box, they say, ha, or Holy bananas. You know, something like that.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Mastering the Trojan Horse Strategy


Like that’s the expression that you want. So when one of our Dream 25 prospects opens the box, and they see this frame and the matted quote card that we call it, like, where we’re sharing some wisdom that they shared during the show, it’s matted under glass in this black wooden frame. When they opened the box, they saw really beautiful tissue paper and that kind of stuff, and the presentation was amazing. They open it up, and they’re like, oh, wow. And it’s not about us in the least little bit; it’s about them. And it’s so cool. Like, we want to send something that’s so cool that they would be proud to put it on their wall because it’s about them, not us as the sender. Okay? That’s the reaction that whatever you send should elicit, okay? And then we send other things too that are just put them in the realm of being helpful.


So we send books, not our book, we send other people’s books, like other authors’ books, And then there’s a little note card that goes along with it. It might say, Hey, Sarah, thanks for the conversation a few weeks ago during, you know, during that chat, you talked about how you’re opening this new line of business, or you just made this acquisition, or you insert business either issue, challenge, goal, whatever thought chapter seven of this book would be helpful Stephen, and that’s it. That’s what you send. Okay? So every six to eight weeks, we’re sending something like that: A frame, a book, maybe a printed copy of our annual research with something highlighted that says, again, based on our conversation, thought you might find this helpful or insightful.  it could be that you wrote a long-form LinkedIn post and tagged them in it.


 It could be that maybe you help them get interviewed in or maybe or something like that. So you’re doing these types of things every six to eight weeks and focused on sharing their insights and wisdom in new and different ways, okay? New and different ways. Now, let’s connect that back then to the Trojan horse. So when we’ve taught the Trojan Horse strategy before, I think that if somebody’s, you know, I don’t want to say desperate, maybe that’s the right word, in a desperate situation for revenue, or,  they’re an overly aggressive salesperson, they might think, okay, I’m going to have this interview with Sarah. And when we’re wrapping up and coming in for a landing to close out the interview, I’m going to say,  Hey Sarah, thanks very much for being my guest on the blah, blah, whatever podcast or, or thanks for being my guest.


And now we’re going to turn this into a blog post, a book, or the video series, or again, channel-agnostic, whatever your cornerstone content is. Thanks for being my guest, Sarah; this has been really helpful. Let me tell you a little more about what we do here. Okay? Now, it feels wholly yucky and disingenuous. And that all along, you weren’t interested in what Sarah had to say, share, teach, or whatever. You were waiting for the opportunity to come out of the shadows and try and sell her something that feels gross. Don’t ever do that. It does not feel good to Sarah, John, or whoever your guest is, okay? That is not the Trojan horse of sales, the Trojan Horse of sales.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Crafting Your Fastest Path to Revenue


And how it marries up and links into Dream 25 is the Trojan Horse opens the door because you’re a journalist. Opens the door for the conversation at that point. It’s done; it has done its thing, its job; it is not for you to sell during that interview. Because that feels schmutzy, instead, it links in then with your Dream 25, the Dream 25 guides, and who you’re going to interview in the first place, right? To whom are you going to open the door and use the Trojan horse? That’s your guest list, right? Or your interview list, I should say. And then downstream is the Dream 25. And so you send the frame, you send the book, you send another book, you send all of these things that we talked about before just a few minutes ago, and then maybe six months or so down the road, you send an email to Sarah and say, Hey Sarah, thanks again for being my guest on blah, blah, blah, or for the book, whatever.


Thanks again for being my guest. I really enjoyed our conversation. Super helpful. In fact, my team and I were going back and re-listening to the recording of that interview. And when you said X, that made me think about Y, and, you know, what we do, why really, really well here? Is there maybe a day or time next week that we sit down and chat about that lands completely differently than at the end of the interview being schmutzy, right? Sarah is more APTT to now say yes, not because you’ve just sent a whole bunch of gifts her way, but because you’ve shared her smarts in unique ways that probably no one else has ever done. And you, when you come back in with an email like that of X and then to y, now it’s two business people coming together to solve a business issue and challenge.


And if you’ve done your work on the third column of the WHO framework, the business issues and challenges that Sarah’s dealing with, the right stories to tell from your experience about how you can be helpful against those business issues and challenges, and you’re probably hanging out in the right ponds. Hence, you see Sarah often, right? Those are the ways to knit together the Trojan Horse of sales with the Dream 25. When you blend those together, they can absolutely become your shortest path to revenue and your fastest agency’s new business strategy. Okay? So a couple of other things that I want to make sure that I share with you before we come in for the landing that I mentioned a few minutes ago, and we haven’t landed yet. Alright? So, how much should you be willing to invest in building a relationship with each Dream 25 prospect?


I’m often asked this question, and I heard my business partner, Eric, answer it this way once during a meeting, and I’m like, oh my gosh, that is awesome.  And I thought it was just perfect advice. And so we’ve continued to share that. And that’s this if the thought of, so, so if I were to say to you, let’s say you build your list of Dream 25 prospects. You use the WHO framework, you download that, you get all the criteria or criteria mapped out, you go into LinkedIn, you vet that, you narrow it down, these are your Dream 25, and you’re pretty confident that based on the employee count, based on the size of the company, they can probably invest five to 10%, right? You’ve got all of that mapped out. You have your Dream 25 list; yay for that.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: A Litmus Test for Success


Okay? Here’s a litmus test. Would you be willing to invest a thousand dollars per prospect on an annual basis in order to develop a relationship with each of the prospects that are on that list? If that question makes you squeamish, then they’re not the right fit, then those prospects are not the right fit prospects. Building out a Dream 25 strategy from a financial perspective is not insignificant. It’s not insignificant and direct cost; it’s not insignificant in time. You need to get this right. You will be investing a significant amount of time, effort, and cost to do this and do it with excellence. So if the thought of investing a thousand dollars per prospect that is on the list in order to open the door and develop a relationship with them downstream makes you squeamish, then you probably don’t have the right fit prospects on the list of Dream 25.


So, I would encourage you to go back and refine it. Now, when you look at your list, some are probably like, yeah, these are awesome, right? I would totally invest a thousand dollars in that relationship. And then others are like, I don’t know. So the ones that are like, I don’t know, go back and refine the list, okay? So you need to be able to look at the list and say, holy bananas, absolutely. We’re totally all in developing this relationship. That’s how excited you should get about your Dream 25 lists. These are the prospects that you would most like to serve. Okay? So that’s one piece of criteria or additional criteria, I should say. Then another question that we’re often asked is, how often should someone, or how long should someone stay on the list? I love how Drew answers this question, and it’s this until they hire you or they file a restraining order; I think that’s funny.


Obviously, he’s kidding about that, but then, at least, the restraining order piece until they hire you is a great piece of criteria. And there are going to be some instances where somebody sends you an email and says, look I got a family, family member in the business, we’re never going to hire you guys. And so then obviously remove them from the list, in my opinion. I think there’s one more piece of criteria, and that is that he and I actually talked about this. Drew and I talked about this during episode 354 of his Build a Better Agency podcast, which was pivoting the niche. So there are going to be times throughout the growth cycle of your business or life cycle of your business, where maybe your niche changes, maybe it gets more narrow, maybe you move to a different industry, maybe you launch a brand new superpower.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Navigating Business Changes with Confidence


Remember, we define niche using four different criteria. One of those happens to be industry, but the other three are different. And you can build a niche with just one ingredient. You don’t; the industry doesn’t have to be part of the niche recipe. It could be something different. So my point is that if the niche changes or your business changes, then, okay, your Dream 25 list can change. I will tell you that over the last several years, we’ve gone more and more and more and more narrow into authority in helping our clients plant the flag of authority, become the known experts in their niche, and then be able to monetize that in the form of a steady stream of RightFit clients flowing into their sales pipelines, as we’ve gone more and more and more narrow into that, I will tell you that our Dream 25 list has also changed.


Okay? So, as our agency has grown and ours, our predictive has changed, and our Dream 25 has changed along with it. In fact, we’re going through the fourth iteration of our Dream 25 list right now because things need to change. So what I don’t want you to be thinking is, is that when you step out of this conversation, you need to pound your Dream 25 list into stone because you do not, right? So that would be foolish. Do I think that your Dream 25 list needs to stay set, and you need to be consistent with it? Yes. And then also recognize there could be some business changes, excuse me, changes in your business that necessitate a little zig or a little zag, alright? Now, year over year, if you’re blowing up your Dream 25 list and completely reinventing it because you got it wrong, or it’s just a knee-jerk reaction, or you’re frustrated because people haven’t bought it yet, that’s completely different.


And I do not suggest that you do that. I suggest that you build the list, run it through research, and run it through the thousand-dollar litmus test. And if it has your confidence after doing all those things, then I suggest you stay the course. If the business changes, you change the list, okay? It’s not a lighthearted decision, but it isn’t a decision you should run away from if the business necessitates that type of change. Okay? Alright, I think that that is everything that I wanted to cover and share with you. If you have questions or concerns, drop me a note, and I’ll be happy to share them.  if you want to talk that out during one of our q and as you’re more than welcome, we’d love to have you join us.


Tune in to our “ROI of Community” framework to learn more about prospecting tips.


Prospecting Tips: Seeding and Opening Loops


You can find us at So Q as Quebec and a as alpha. So predictive I believe our next one is March 8th, so we’d love to have you join us. Next week, we will also be a solocast. As I mentioned, I think I mentioned at the beginning of this recording, next week’s solocast is what I’m going to connect topic-wise into the March 8th q and a. And the topic is going to be called seeding and opening loops, which is actually a suggestion from one of our attendees.  Christina, if you’re listening, thank you for the suggestion.  during last week’s q and a, she said, Hey, would you guys ever teach the seat in opening loops? And I’m like, yep, we totally will. This is a really cool sales tactic to use in a conversation with prospective clients, seating, and opening loops.


And if you join us for the next solo cast and also that q and A, you’ll see that what I just did there was seated in an opening loop. Okay? So I will leave it there. Thank you very much for being here. And thank you for being here for all of the episodes, not just this one. My team and I are very grateful for your time and suggestions on how we can improve. We are grateful for all of it. Thank you so much for walking alongside us and allowing us to walk alongside you and try to be as helpful as possible.  and in helping you, you know, plant your flag of authority, become the known expert in your niche, and then fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of RightFit prospects. Hopefully, this conversation was helpful. I look forward to you joining me again next week as we talk about seeding and opening loops. And until then, onward with gusto.

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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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