Strategic Selling Techniques

Episode 80: Strategic Selling Techniques, with Lisa Bragg

podcast photo thumbnail



View this episode on:

Strategic Selling Techniques? Explore effective strategies on how to use purposeful self-promotion with our strategic selling techniques.

Strategic selling techniques — On this episode of Sell With Authority, we focus our time and attention on a goal that will help you roar into 2024 and crush it throughout the year — how best to leverage your smarts in content and self-promotion that enables you to sell from a position of authority — without looking self-promotional.

I am excited to welcome Lisa Bragg. Lisa is the Founder of MediaFace, a Toronto-based content and consulting firm. She has literally written the book on how to talk about success, Bragging Rights: How To Talk about Your Work Using Purposeful Self-Promotion.

Lisa’s book provides a structured approach and framework to enhance your visibility through purposeful self-promotion. She is sharing her invaluable insights and expertise on how to be genuinely helpful to your audience while promoting your work effectively, ultimately moving the needle in your business.


What you will learn in this episode is about strategic selling techniques:

  • Why you should market to where you want to go
  • How you can craft a signature story in which your right-fit prospects can see themselves
  • How to teach in both helpful and meaningful ways
  • Ways to best leverage your smarts and best strategic selling techniques
  • How to sell from a position of authority without sounding self-promotional



Strategic Selling Techniques: 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 a strategic consultant and you’re looking to fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of right-fit prospects and get the app apps, the qualified leads that you need in order to build and scale, well, then you’re in the right place. But before we dive in and introduce today’s very special guest expert, I first wanna take a minute to say thank you. I wanna say thank you for your time. I wanna say thank you for listening. I wanna say thank you for stepping into our community and playing full out, whether that’s joining our free Facebook group, whether that’s attending our open mic q and a two-day intensive, or taking advantage of the resources in our free library.


And I also wanna say thank you for the encouragement along the way. I want you to know that my predictive team and I look forward to helping you close your fourth quarter strong and doing everything we can to help you roar into 2024 and crush the year. So, based on that lofty goal, it seems fitting that we focus our time and attention today around content and how best to leverage your smarts in that content, as well as self-promotion that helps you sell from a position of authority without looking self-promotional.  here’s why I want to take us down this path. When I’m at a conference and talking with agency owners and consultants, I’m asked, or I hear things like Stephen,  I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to teach. Or, what should I teach that’s helpful? And will it matter? Will it help me grow my audience?


Will it help me build trust with our audience? And if yes, will they opt into my list, or will they step into my community to learn even more from our team? And will any of that hard work lead them to want to us to help them solve their business issues or challenges like in a paid relationship? And how do we do all of that in such a way that whenever someone from our audience turns around there, we are with a helpful answer? Because here’s the crux of it. We don’t wanna sound swarmy. We don’t wanna sound self-promotional like we’re on the hunt for that next new prospect. But at the same time, our sales cycle seems to be getting longer and longer, and decisions are delayed. So, we need to close sales without looking like we need to close sales. So if any of those scenarios or questions have run through your mind, then you’re in for a treat today.


Learn more about strategic selling techniques by reading this book: Bragging Rights: How to Talk about Your Work Using Purposeful Self-Promotion by Lisa Bragg


Strategic Selling Techniques: Lisa’s Introduction


These are some of the reasons why I invited our very special guest expert, Lisa Bragg, to join me on the podcast. If you’re meeting Lisa for the first time, she has literally written the book on how to talk about success. Her book is entitled Bragging Rights, how to Talk About Your Work Using Purposeful Self-Promotion. Lisa is also the founder of Media Face, a Toronto-based,  content and consulting firm. And I promise you, if you take and apply the insights and wisdom that Lisa shares with you during this episode, you’ll be in a much better position to be helpful to your audience while promoting what you do so you can move the needle in your business. So, without further ado, welcome to the Sell with Authority podcast. Lisa,


Stephen, thank you so much. I love so many of your words. There are gems all in there that could be a conversation from what you highlighted off the top. There are so many things to unpack. So, I’m really excited to be with you, and thank you for having me with your audience today. I truly appreciate it.


Well, thank you for saying yes, and clearly, I am super excited to get to the meat of our conversation. ’cause I kept stumbling my way through it. I’m like, oh my gosh, I can’t wait to get this conversation going. I am stumbling over my words anyway. But the


While perfectionism is passe, we’re humans having a human conversation, and I think that’s a good thing.


Okay, well, fair enough. Thank you for your grace. But, in all fairness, I am excited for this conversation because I think the things that you teach inside your book, your advice, insights, expertise, and all of that are going to be incredibly helpful for our audience. Just like you and I talked about in the Green room before we hit record, the crux of it is, is that agencies and consultancies are hearing from their clients, oh, that’s a great idea, but we’re gonna have to wait till Q1 or Q2 or whatever, or we have to try to find some budget, or, we can’t deploy those funds yet. And so there’s a lot of wait and see right now. And so yes, you could say, well, now’s the time to double down on content and all of that. But so how do we, in a time when we need to be self-promotional, but we don’t wanna show up as being swarmy, how do we do that? So I’m excited to get your insights and your take on this really important topic. But before we do, take us behind the curtain and share a little bit more context about your path and journey.  and then we’ll dive in.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Mastering Self-Promotion


Strategic selling techniques? Yeah. Well, my background,  you know, I was destined to write a book named Bragging Rights ’cause my last name is Brag. But,  started off as a broadcast journalist way back in the day. And that’s,  so doing video as one of the first videographers. So editing and all the things that we do, all of us now all the time with video and content, but doing it for news. And then decided in 2007 that, Hey, you know what, we can really do more for this and help other people tell their stories. And so started one of Canada’s first content companies, Media Face, doing video animation, e-learning for a lot of companies, and getting their subject matter experts online through video and podcasting for the very first time. And so had so many people come up to me on their way to the elevator, ’cause you know, that’s where so much business is actually done.


And they’d say to me, Lisa, I can see where, you know, the subject matter experts are going with the work that you’re doing, but how can I apply this to myself? And so then right away people would say, well, get on social media, do more content, all those things. But I realize there’s a lot more for us to unpack culturally and socially before some of us can tell our stories and even get ourselves out there even more so that we can attract the right fit people to us. So that’s really the short version of all of it. But it’s been a journey to get to where I am, really understand the human condition, do research on behalf of the book, and understand that talking about yourself is a challenge. It’s an international problem. So if you feel like this is gonna be a hard episode, you’re in the right, you’re in the right place. It is, it is.


So let’s start with maybe some foundational context. So when, when you, when you see,  content and you are experiencing stories as sort of like consuming that in, in your mind, like what’s the indicator of, ooh, that was self-promotional, or ooh, they totally nailed it because they taught something without seeming self-aggrandizing or self-promotional. Like, are there clear signals?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Tailoring Your Message for Different Audiences


Best strategic selling techniques? You know what there isn’t actually because it’s context-based. Hmm. So when we are in context, and we’re talking about other people who are in our industry or our clients, and we say, well, we won a hundred thousand or a million dollars worth of business, or whatever it is that’s in context, but to your family and you say, well, it’s a million dollar client, they don’t understand that. And they also don’t understand all the costs behind us. So mm-hmm, , oh, well, who do they think they are? And so it’s really often it’s about context. And that’s why in the book I talk about how, you know, people who own a yacht, they can show off their yachts to the other people who have yachts, but the person who’s working in, in the industry or walking by might think, oh, well what’s with those people that they’re really, you know, really full of themselves and it makes me feel uncomfortable.


So there’s a challenge with it where really everything is about context, and it’s also about the audience that you want to serve, and you’re signaling to the audience that you want in the future and not necessarily the audience of the past. So that’s where it gets tricky. ’cause we have so many audiences. We might have our mom and dad mm-hmm on our social channels, but we’re trying to signal to that really big next client that we should work with them. So you have to really start defining who you wanna talk to and what you wanna say to them. Huh.


Oh, okay, so this is interesting. I, I didn’t, I didn’t think that this would necessarily be an ingredient. So I wanna loop back to see if I’m actually understanding or tracking with you correctly. So does that, does that underscore the importance of, you wanna say niche or being in the right pond or, or really having a clear view of audience in the more narrow, the better? Because if it is more narrow, does that make it easier to dial in the context of the content?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Crafting a Story for Impact


Are strategic selling techniques important? It really does. You know, it’s the minimal viable audience who you really need to speak to and know what you wanna say to them. So knowing that you can have a primary audience, a secondary audience, and a tertiary audience. So I’m not saying you have to just eliminate everyone, but you have to know, I say market to where you wanna go. Like, where do you wanna go next? And then market to that place. And so if you’re changing direction market to that, it all the pieces will fit in. There is always a red thread to it. You just have to take some self-reflection time. But it’s where do you wanna go with it? So I do believe that you have to figure it out. ’cause right now it’s about narrowcasting instead of broadcasting. We don’t have the resources to be Coca-Cola and talk to every single person and understand their habits.


So that’s where, if you can really think about who is that one person, that’s the decision maker that I need to get their get in their son. And you alluded to it in the beginning, it’s like, who is that one person that I really need so that they can see me over and over and over again? That’s what I need to figure out and go from there because we don’t have the budget to be everywhere all the time. And it’s also exhausting. So I just don’t want that for our audience where it’s easier to start really small and focused. And then as you gain traction, yes, you can expand, but when you’re starting out, and you’re also really wanting work right away, it’s easier to go for smaller, smaller, pick those top, top three, and then go forward from there.


Well, o okay, so this sinks in so beautifully with, um, like when I was getting ready for our interview and doing some prep work and, and I spent some time on your website, I saw that one of your guides was essentially helping somebody better understand like what to say, what to teach and then how to teach a story around those pieces and all of that. I thought. And, so now hearing you say that narrowcasting, I’m like, well, that makes sense because now you’re crafting a story for a very specific audience and how they’ll react to that story as, as opposed to trying to teach, you know, something so broad and hope that it impacts some people, right?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: How to Attract Brand Ambassadors and Ideal Clients


Strategic selling techniques? Because we have to tell ’em what the benefits are to us, right? So we know pain points, but what’s also the benefit, and how am I gonna help them in their context? ’cause they can’t always read between the lines. Everyone is so busy. So if I can serve up the answers in an interesting way and let them know really how I am the benefit to their problem or telling them the problem in advance, which is always nifty to do, but if I can be that person and let them know how it links and how I link to all of it, then that really helps them instead of saying, well, you figure it out because we don’t have time. So, if you can craft that story, you might be crafting the same story in a few different ways to reach the audience.


And that’s okay. We can have a signature story that we just tweak a little bit over and over again. We don’t have to have a million different case studies or a million different stories. It’s really just how you take something and make sure that the audience you want to attract can really see themselves in it and that they are there for you. And then when an audience sees that they might not be your client today, but they might be that brand ambassador that you want, that can really make things happen. And so often it’s not even the person that I’m trying to attract, it’s then the brand ambassadors around that person who then say, oh, well we can see her there. She’s picking up some traction. We’re gonna help her go further. And so brand ambassadors are often one of the byproducts or something to ask for and look for out in the world. So those people that you don’t necessarily think are your clients right away, Mm-hmm, but are gonna help you to then find the right fit clients as you go.


Well, yeah. And the more aligned, obviously, you know, we’re very biased with niche because it’s one of the first things that we teach. But, the more that you’re aligned with that and finding more brand ambassadors who are also aligned with that, the more that it amplifies your content still within that niche, theoretically, right?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: From Sharing to Shining


Absolutely. They’ll, and they people wanna share content. They want to look like the thought leader, taking someone else’s content, sharing it, and amplifying it. People want that. And that’s a good strategy for anyone listening to think about who’s a thought leader. Who’s saying some great things that I should copy and paste, giving, of course, attribution, right? But sharing that out in the world. ’cause the, when we shine a spotlight on others, that spotlight comes back on us. But when we can amplify, then people will be attracted to that work. Because you’re, of course, being of service, which we are, but you’re also thinking about how you can be not just service-based, but how you can be experiential with a person or how you can be transformational. And when we’re sharing really good content, that’s what we’re moving from is really being service-based to being, helping them have an experience with us or having a transformation without even having started to work with them. So if I’m already doing this at this level, how, imagine what it’s gonna be like to work with me. And that’s why we wanna start sending out those signals. It’s like, wow, this is pretty good. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of work. ’cause you can just really, I’m saying, copy other people’s work that you admire, giving attribution and saying, this is something that you really need to see and feel out in the world.


So what’s the starting point? And, and, and maybe we don’t have to go all the way back to like a foundational level, but, but maybe we should too. So, I’ve met many agency owners and consultants who are absolute experts in what they do. And they’ve built great companies with amazing teams. But when we think about, okay, let’s map out 50 topics, or let’s start thinking about what you can teach and so forth. Sometimes, staring at the word, the empty word document with the flashing cursor is like, oh, all of a sudden, we forget about all the amazing, awesome, wonderful, beautiful, incredible things that we do every single day. So, in your experience, what is the starting point? How do you help your clients start to think about this? We need to start thinking about these things to say and then how to craft a story around it.


Stephen, I’m gonna take you even back a little bit further and okay. And challenge that we have a lot of cultural baggage and I’m in Canada and I work internationally, but it’s actually, you know, an international phenomenon where so many of us have been taught, put your head down, do good work, and eventually someone will notice you. And that is the worst advice ever. And I know we’re all guilty of giving it, but you can’t do that. We cannot wait for people to find us on our tiny piece of the internet. So, anyone listening right now, in my workshops and keynote, I’ll do this funny bit. Sometimes it’s a light saber, sometimes it’s my daughter’s from when she was really young, she had like a glitter glitter star. And I’ll take my magic wand, and I will anoint people and say, you are an expert.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: The Power of Standing Out


And I know it sounds super silly, but when I do it, they actually take a breath and realize, okay, someone else is calling me an expert. So right now, anyone listening to you in the work that you do, of course, you are an expert. I’m saying you are, Stephen, I’m gonna speak for you, is saying you are, you are an expert, and we need to actually stand in that. So take a deep breath and you are an expert. There you go. I just anointed you are the expert. Because we have to stand in that power to know that. And you’re not just somebody who’s watched a couple Ted talks and read a book like you live and breathe this, you know what’s right for your clients. And so standing in that expertise, some people even have a hard time with being a leader. So, leader, expert, or visionary.


And I bet some people on this, on this are visionaries too. They’re able to see around corners, predict the future, and know what’s happening next. So own it that you are the expert and believe it. ’cause going from there, like you have so much to share with the world, but going from there and standing in that expert place will set your mind up to then stand in your power. And I know that sounds really rah-rah, but we need that ’cause culturally for so long, and I can get, I get into it a little bit in the book, but we have all these factory system norms that really don’t apply to anyone in this, in the industry, but we have factory era norms that still keep us, you know if you were that good, your work would rise to the top. Like that doesn’t work.


So it’s allowing yourself to have a voice and a point of view, and then that will allow you to write content and develop content for the right fit clients. So, but to get really tactical, start a brag book. And it could be for you personally. So I always caution people that we become our, our agencies or we become our organizations. And that’s what happened to me I became a media face. I didn’t differentiate between Lisa Bragg and Media Face, and I would like everyone to have too. So you are your own person just in case anything ever happens, but you are also the company’s face, right? You need to know that. But also think about it in two ways. But the easiest thing to do is start a brag book. Start a brag book for yourself and start a brag book for the company.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Start Your Brag Book Today!


You can call it a smile file if bragging is just too much for you. But have those things and have it ready to go. And when the client sends you a card or an email, copy and paste, copy and paste, download, print it out, write it in your journal, anything you want. But start with that because we so quickly forget that we’ve done awesome work and then we’re spinning in our own brains and that when we go to see that cursor flashing on the page, we don’t know what to write about. But when you can see your brag book and all the accomplishments that you’ve had, you can say, well, I can write about that. Oh yeah, that. And you can also see the red thread that connects so much of your work when you start to collect all this information. So, the way I would start for a tactical pa place is to start a brag book today. And you don’t have to go way back 5, 10, 20 years, start it today and start seeing the pieces as you move forward.


I, okay, I think this is a brilliant tool. And here’s why. And I think that you said this, so maybe I’m edifying what you said and then gonna add a little bit of personal context to it, or I guess predictive context to it is that it’s really easy to forget about these stories in passing. We’re all busy, we’re all, we all have the luxury because we own the agency or the consultancy that we get to schedule those 8,000 hours a week anytime we want to. I mean, we have complete control over our schedule, right? And so the reality is, is that we have a lot of vital priorities and it’s really easy to, oh, we just created this really cool win for Lisa. Great. I’m stepping into a meeting for a thing. And then we forget about this really cool win that we just created for Lisa.


And, and literally this happened to my team and I, our leadership team. We were having, um, our quarterly leadership team meeting,  Friday morning, so literally three days ago that this happened. And we were talking about, um, some of them, the new topics that we’re talking about here at predictive, like helping them sell more of what they are helping our clients sell more of they do for a higher fee. And so, um, Hannah on our team said, well, what are some of the recent examples where we helped a client sell more of what they do for a higher fee? And we’re sort of like scratching our heart for a second, and we’re like, oh, well, this person and this person and this person and this person. It was like all of a sudden, we sort of created this little brag book, if you will, or whatever, in just a few short minutes. But, then it’s like, well, holy bananas. How, how come we’re not telling those stories? Right?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: From Bragging to Brave


Exactly. Yeah. But then, right there, you’re starting to create also a culture of bragging. So many people just wait for the owner, the leader, to talk about success stories. So bragging means talking about your success with pride. And pride also means self-love. It also means love for your agency, right? Mm-Hmm. So it means those things and not just, you know, we get it so confused with self-aggrandizement. ’cause self-aggrandizement is one of those $5 words. It’s too big. So we think everything is bragging, but self-aggrandizement is that puffery that we don’t like. Well, like we’re too big, and oh, I’m much better than you and all of that. It’s really, but bragging and bragging used to mean,  bravery. It used to mean, um, shine and shimmer. And it didn’t mean boasting, it just shifted through the years through the factory era into a negative.


And so that’s why collecting and can and making a culture of bragging and talking about your successes. Yeah. And if you, ’cause that means anyone in your organization can say, I have the success, and I have this win without somebody thinking, oh, I shouldn’t talk about it. And culturally, as our teams are so varied in culture, you know, we might be North Americans, but we have so many other things behind us that what is it about that person that maybe they don’t like to talk about their successes, but if we can make it a culture of talking about them, then those things will come to us much faster. And you know what? Success attracts success, right? So the more you can talk about it and have those stories ready to go, instead of being invited to tell the story, I’ve seen this so many times. You’re at a table with our clients, and they are inviting you to tell stories about your success. Well, shouldn’t you be ready already to tell your client, getting ahead of the game, and telling them the success stories? So often we wait to be asked, no, no, no, no. You have to have your stories ready to go so that you’re showing your clients all the great things that you’ve done and also showing them in advance to those future clients. You need to have the stories ready.


Well, and and that’s where this, the, the tool of the brag book, um, can, can be super, super helpful. Like, like, as I’m thinking about the brag book, and we’re totally gonna build one of these. Now, this is a great piece of advice. We are absolutely building the predictive ROI brag book. But as I’m thinking, I’m like, okay, so that means the next time that I go to a conference, you know, my lane here at Predictive is, I’m sure you’re gonna be shocked by this biz dev. And, and so when I, when I think about the brag book, I’m like, okay, so the next time that I go to a conference, whether I’m speaking or not, I’m gonna do a re-review of the brag book. I’m gonna go back through it, and I’m gonna study those things and then look for opportunities that I can see things into conversation, again, without being self-aggrandizing or boastful. But, when those stories are helpful and meaningful, they need to be at the forefront of my mind. Otherwise, if I can’t work ’em in, then the tool isn’t all that helpful. Right?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Maximizing Conferences


That’s exactly it. And that is so well said. And what you can do, we can all do. Now, when we go to conferences, often they give out the list of people who are gonna be there in advance. And so we’re not gonna be creepy and like stalkers, but we know who we’d like to meet or the kind of people we’d like to meet. So if you go online and say, you know what, there’s those three people that I really would like. And if it’s not them, maybe it’s. There are other people within their community that I’d like to talk to, but I’d like to talk to. But having that brag book and then also connecting it, saying these stories, would really work well if I can meet this kind of person there and that kind of person there. ’cause then you’re ready to go. So it’s just really looking ahead, seeing who’s there.


’cause that’s how you have the benefit of going to conferences. So often, we just go in, quickly pack our bags, and race in. If you can look in advance, see who that is, and also go online and say, Hey, , looking forward to seeing you there. And then I’ve had so many hugs when I’ve done that to others I’ve had like, Hey, great. ’cause they don’t know anyone. And so they’re more likely to have coffee with you and spend time together. Maybe they’re going on the same flight as you or not. But it’s like just an opportunity to reach out to people and be that human wanting to have a human connection. So doing your work in advance is really critical to having even more success when you invest all that time. Going to conferences is critical, but just do a little bit of homework in advance. And then, of course, I know you probably already say this already: the follow-up, follow-up, follow-up is the critical piece. But


Well, it is a critical piece. And, because most don’t do it. Yeah. Right. And, and, and so really, if we’re looking for a way to stand out, we should do the things that we consider to be fundamental. But it’s such a low bar because most people don’t do it. So when we do it with excellence, we stand out by doing something really simple.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Small Steps to Stand Out and Serve


And that’s a lot of the things in the book. It’s not, you know, it’s not all these greats look at my tactics. It’s really about how I’m here to serve. Mm-Hmm. And so when people know how you’re here to serve, that’s the difference in this world. Like so many of us are afraid to talk about how we are of service. And if we can reframe bragging as how we are here to serve, that helps take away what a lot of people feel is the ickiness of it. And so bragging is really talking about your success and self-promotion. Those are the tactics to carry it out into the, to the ethernet, the wind, wherever it is. And it can be a range of things. It could be as easy as connecting with somebody on LinkedIn or if you’re going to an association event, filling out that profile before your conference, and putting your picture right beside something.


Those are super tiny, small things that don’t cost a lot of money. But because not enough people are doing them, you start to stand out. And the more little things that you’re doing, it’s, it’s like working out. It all adds up to something much bigger. So I’m not, when I talk about my work, it’s not about making everyone a social media maven and you’re online and you’re doing social media as a full-time job for yourself or for your company. There are a lot of other smaller things that you can do. And even returning an email, following up with an email like doing that, you know, it’s been a month since you’ve contacted them, making sure you follow up. So few people actually do these tools. They’re simple to do. They don’t cost you a lot of time or effort, but they do have results in the end. And that’s where I think there’s some gold in these small things.


Of course, there is. And they do all add up. They create this compounding, which, which I think is really, really smart. So after somebody let, let’s say that, um, our audience is listening to you now. I I that, that’s a weird way to say it. Let’s say that someone in our audience is listening to you now and says, yep, totally gonna build the brag book. And they do that for themselves and for their business, and they gain some good momentum. What’s next after that that you would like to see them do as far as being able to either shape that into a story, give more confidence to talk about that,  to teach it whatnot. What’s the next step in your mind?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Finding Clarity


Well, I’d love to know what you really wanna do. So often, we think we wanna do something, but we haven’t actually spent the time reflecting on it. So do the seven layers deep, it’s like, I think it’s Toyota’s exercise. And really ask yourself, well, why do I want that? Why do I want that? Because that often gives you deeper insight into the stories that you’re gonna wanna tell. So why do you want to have that certain client really take it back? Like, is there something deeper that it’s not just that’s a great client, but there’s something beyond it that happened earlier that you do have that right fit for them or that it’s something of a, of a badge for you? Like, what is it? Because sometimes doing that self-reflection piece of saying, well, why do I really want that? What’s in it for me can help reveal more things and help you have a deeper connection to the person or a company that you really want to attract.


So knowing why you wanna be attracted to that person, because so often, I don’t know how many times you hear it, but you know, people want to work with Coca-Cola, and I’m saying it a lot this time, I don’t know why, but they want that bigger brand. It’s like, well, why do you really want that? Mm-Hmm, no. Like you really actually wanna go here and work with this other group. You know, you wanna do craft beer, you wanna do something else, but why do we wanna have those bright shiny stars sometimes where, you know, their money isn’t really there? Like, where do you wanna go with it? So doing some self-reflection, we do not do enough self-reflection. It seems like it’s, um, you know, it just takes up too much time to take that pause and say, here’s where I really want to go.


And so, think about where you really wanna go and then pause for a moment and do three breaths. Like inhaling, exhaling, breathing counts for so much, but taking that time to think about why you really want something and breathing through it. it will reveal so much more. ’cause we, especially when we’re in business development mode, business development mode, we get into, our brains are spinning faster than they should. But if we take the time to take a breath, which I probably should do too, ’cause I’m starting to slur my words. But we get so excited about these things that sometimes we actually need to pause. Yeah, breathe, yeah. This will allow us to plan a little bit more in a regulated way, and then we’ll actually get some more traction. So really think about what you want. That was a very long answer to say, breathe and think about what you truly want and rest on it for a moment.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: The Power of Taking a Breath


See, I wasn’t breathing during the introduction. Right? What, what I wanted was to get into the interview and I just, I messed up the introduction several times. ’cause more words were coming out than the breath that was going in. 


But don’t you think, Stephen, it’s like we get in our own heads about all these things. ’cause we wanna go so fast, right? And especially in this era right now, we know we wanna go faster and faster, right? Because things seem scarce. Mm-Hmm. And that it’s harder. And it’s like, but we can’t, we have to always just take a breath, take a beat to make sure that we’re not just doing busy work, going in the wrong direction. Right? You need to really say, take a moment, not be fear, not be afraid. Scarcity, abundance. Step into abundance, abundance as much as you can, and realize, yes, it’s, it’s a challenging time, but how do I take a breath to make sure that I’m not just gonna spin my wheels and go in the wrong direction, attract the wrong clients that I don’t want, that I’m gonna spend years unraveling.


Right? And I love this exercise and what you’re suggesting, the seven layers deep.  because it’s a great litmus test, and it forces us to be not, not only decisive, maybe it forces us to be clear, forces us to be decisive. Keeps us from aimlessly wandering through the wilderness. It also kind of maybe stress tests,  sort of the, um, the stories that we’re going to eventually build. Like are those the right stories? So am I, am I tracking with you as to like why that’s so important?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Using the RIF Tool


Yeah, that’s exactly it. ’cause then it allows us to do, like we can, once we’ve thought about it and done things, do the exercises, then we can say our brain is already working in the background. Okay. But then it allows us to make sure that, again, going back to that blinking cursor on the screen, we can do what’s a rift tool? So you can say, you know, here’s take, take a stopwatch, take your watch, take a timer, but write down all the things that you could talk about that would be of interest to your ideal client. What would those things be? And then refine ’em again. And when you find that, you can say, here’s all the things I can talk about. And I do have some prompts in the book that you can start with. But I believe I can teach. I know that my opinion on this is different, and when you can say, here are all the things, I have a different opinion than most people in my niche.


Like here’s my opinion or my cultural background allows me to think about things from this perspective. And all these things can come out. Well, I can think about multicultural advertising, I can think about whatever in a different way. All of that releases their content. Mm-Hmm. And then you end up with here’s all the content that I could write about as a leader or for my agency. And so doing something like the RIF tool where it’s almost, it’s a stream of consciousness. It’s, you’re not correcting anything. It’s like, here’s all the things in this amount of time that I think I can write about just as much as you can. And then, you can refine it further and refine it further. And that allows you to have content galore when you just allow yourself to, to just put it out there in, in a quick way instead of watching that blinking cursor.


Well, no, no joke in in the prompts in your book. I, I think are going to be incredibly helpful. You gave us a few of them. The, I believe I can teach the one that I, I mean those are all good. The one that I love is, is I that I think I heard you say My difference of opinion is Yeah. And I think that’s so great because it’s provocative, not offensive, but provocative enough in a way that somebody will say, oh wait, what? And because I think we, we, we just live in a world of vanilla, in the sea of sameness. And people are so concerned about either taking a stand or having a different opinion or something like that because, you know, they’re just lots of different reasons. But, but, but anyway, what I love is when you say my difference of opinion is it’s professional is provocative, it’s not offensive, but it sets somebody apart from the sea of sameness and just being seen as sort of a, you know, just part of that crowd. I love that


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Embracing Your Remarkable Differences


We do have to show the world how we are remarkable, and we just get in so much because we don’t wanna be left out. But we have to say, here’s how I am remarkable. We can’t compete better. And, but it’s what it, what makes you different or unique, but it’s really remarkable. Doing some of the exercises in the book will help you figure that out and start thinking in that way. ’cause we are, we all have a difference. And it’s like allowing yourself to have a point of view. And it doesn’t have to be on politics or on religion or any of those hot-button issues, but having a point of view on the craft that you’re there to serve. Like that’s what then people say, oh well, she’s an expert ’cause she has a point of view. She’s willing to tell me in my expert opinion, 100% of the time this is what it is.


You know? So, having that point of view and allowing it to come through will differentiate you in this time of vanilla. And if you just wanna be vanilla with sprinkles, okay? But if you wanna then go to something totally different, yeah. That’s where having a point of view allows you to be distinct from other people because the sea of sameness is a trap. And we wanna see humans having a human experience. And if I can connect with you more and more, it’s based on our values. As we have more technology supporting us, we will shop based on our values. It is the way, ’cause there’s just the pie is just, you know, so how do you make sure people know what you stand for in a way that you are really comfortable with and that will attract the right fit people. And I’m not talking, you don’t have to go down religion or any of the other deeper things, but you can really say, here’s my values, and it could be in the psycho demographic way of here’s my habits, here’s, you know, I’m a bowler or whatever it could be. It could be in a lot of those other ways. And, um, allowing people to know, this is what I stand for, and this is what I care about. And people will be, will be attracted to it even if they disagree with your opinion. It’s interesting, humans can connect on so many layers and so they might be, might appreciate that you have a stance and a stand on something.


I think that’s such a great point. Even if they disagree with your opinion, it’s the fact that you made a stand, that you shared your opinion, and that you have one that, in and of itself, creates demarcation. So if I, if, because I don’t think that we talked about this when you were introducing yourself, you spent 15 years, I believe I had the number correct. 15 years in the media before starting,  your business, right? Do I have that number correct?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Why Your Unique Opinion Matters


Okay, so sorry. Anyway, but my point is this fact that when you said in my expert opinion, so like if, if you were interviewing somebody or, or, or whatnot, you were looking for an expert and they just gave you no point of view. They gave you the sea of sameness, sort of, you know, bullet points or whatnot, and didn’t really lean into that conversation by giving you their expert opinion. It’s not really a great interview, not really insightful for the audience, right?


Not at all. So boring. And then you’re like, what clip do I, can I possibly use because I have to use something and I spent all that time with ’em. And then it’s like, then you use a three second. Yes, I agree with that. And you see the desperation in it and then they go off and find someone else. And that’s why if you want media, you do have to have a different opinion. You have to have an opinion on something. It can’t be, it doesn’t have to be a different opinion, it just has to be your take on something. What is your background? What is the connection that you can make for our audience that can help them see things in a different light? But yeah. And everyone here is an expert. So just have your own thoughts on whatever it is that you care about and that you’re passionate about.


Enthusiasm counts for so many things nowadays, but that’s why when I was in broadcast journalism, I would always zig when they, everyone else, would zag ’cause, like, it would get so tired of hearing the same comments over and over and over again. And people wanna hear different opinions. And I think that’s what’s refreshing about this era that we’re in, that they do wanna hear something different or refreshing. Take on the same old, same old. Like, well, what’s the new, what can you bring to it? And no one else knows this, but here’s what I can bring to something. No one else knows this because they haven’t had, they’re not me, they’re not you. So what can you bring that little bit of difference, that little bit of spice, to the world?


Well, let’s think about that, too, right? In the stories that you share, if you’re not adding that uniqueness, why would they hire you?


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: How to Stand Out in a Changing World


They’ll stay with the person they’ve always stayed with, or they’ll look for somebody who has a little bit of spunk and spice. Right? You know, they want somebody who’s done something a little bit different. That’s where staying in your lane, like doing the work, putting your head down, waiting to be chosen, all that stuff. It’s so antiquated. And I, I have an example in the book where a woman, she was in assurance, and she was, you know, doing all the things she’s always been told to do. Meanwhile, some other, an upstart, came along and, wearing flip-flops, didn’t follow all what she thought were the rules. Mm-hmm. But they weren’t actually the rules. We just get into these social norms thinking this is the way I have to play, I have to play, and then eventually I’ll get what I want. But he came along and took the award that she won, and he showed up in flip-flops to get the award. Meanwhile, it used to be this big fancy thing. ’cause the rules are changing. So how do we play, you know, we wanna play within them, but we know things are much more gray than what they were before. So how do you test the limits, and how do you enjoy your time with it and realize that the rules have changed and we need to evolve with it?


I love this so much so be, and I know that we need to come in for a landing and that we’re quickly running out of time. Before I ask you for any final advice, any recommendations, or anything we think we might have missed? I wanna do a quick recap here of three of the,  I’ll say, biggest golden nuggets. There’s lots of golden nuggets. And, and so one in, in my notes, I have started a brag book, right? And, and really maybe it’s two start two brag books. One for yourself, one for your company. Second is, what do you really want to do? More specifically, do the seven layers deep exercise three, you mentioned the riff tool, and then, you know, making this list without constraints of ideal topics and then refining them. And then you gave us some prompts. The fact that I believe I can teach my difference of opinion is awesome. So, as we think about your final advice, are there any additional recommendations or anything you think we might have missed? What, like, what is there, is there a fourth one? What do you think we might have missed?


Well, we actually talked about it is really know your ideal client. And you said right away you talk about niching all the time, but who is that primary audience when you’re telling stories or putting together any content? Who is that person that you really wanna talk to? And so again, don’t worry about your friends from, from high school or from, you know, worry, worry about who your clients are and that you wanna make content that will resonate with them. So, think about what they really want. So that would be the fourth thing. But realize too that it is hard to get this going. Hence why, I wrote the book about bragging in self-promotion that, again, no one’s gonna find you on your tiny piece of the internet. We have to put up our flag and say, here’s where I am, here’s what I stand for, but especially here’s how I can serve you.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


[H3] Strategic Selling Techniques: Embracing Service to Stand Out


And when you’re of service, that’s when people will come, and you’re letting them know that here, you’re going to give them a great experience. You will transform their work and make a difference. And I think that’s really what we all wanna do. We all wanna be seen and heard. It’s, it’s fundamental to the human condition. We need to get more voices out there in the world. And don’t worry about being part of the noise. You are part of the signal if you’re of service. So that’s, I think, a big difference for people. So they don’t feel icky about bragging, which is what I heard because I did international research for the book. One of the largest, the largest. I have to stand in my own work. Sometimes I am a hidden gem too. But I did the largest survey on bragging and self-promotion worldwide and realized that so many of us struggle, and we are hidden gems. But we know that we need to shed that invisibility cloak and let the world know that we are here to serve. So mediocre people, well, frankly, don’t keep getting the opportunities that we deserve. So that’s what I want for all of us, is for you to get, get what you deserve and you are already doing the hard work. You already d did the work. You just need to let people know about it.


Amen. You know, I could suggest a really great book for you to read about how to stand out in the work. It’s called Bragging Rights. It’s by this really, really amazingly smart person, Lisa Bragg. I don’t know if you know her, but she’s amazing.


Oh, you know what, Stephen, I am my book. I am my book. And so it is a practice, my friends, it is a practice. And  I have people who, you know, you take five steps forward, and then you’re feeling like it’s too much. I’m like, Mm-Hmm, , I’m, but you know what I challenge in the book? We need to go to fear plus 10%. I’m sure you’ve heard that before, but fear plus 10%, you need to be at that side of the pool, the diving board, with your toes curled over, ready to go. You need to feel, feel that fear, and jump back in and know that you will have times where, like, no, no, no, it’s too much. I’m just gonna take a backseat. Take your breath, but get back into it. So I’m, it’s a practice for me. I often feel like I need to hide, but then I will not serve the world. I will not be successful if I’m a hidden gem anymore. So that’s, that’s me, that’s me practicing all the way practice.


I actually had not heard of fear plus 10% before. That is brilliant. I love that. Oh


Good, good. Yeah.


Yeah. Thank you. Before we go, before we close out, please share with our audience the best way to connect with you.


Learn More Strategic Selling Techniques by tuning in to Our “Seed & Open Loops” Framework


Strategic Selling Techniques: Final Bits of Advice from Lisa


Please come to my website. It’s Lisa Bragg with two G, so So I’m heavy on LinkedIn and would love to have your connection there so you can find me there. And also, I always get it wrong, but it’s, I have a tool for your audience and I’m sure you can put it in the show notes. Yeah. And it’s listener love. But go to where the podcast show notes are and find the link. And there’s something that you can grab to help you get going on all this work that you can then be seen and heard about. But  I’m also starting to be more on Instagram. So it’s all those things, but you start building it all up, and it starts to become a muscle. So that’s what I’m working the muscle.


Okay, everyone, no matter how many notes you took or how often you go back and re-listen to Lisa’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope that you do. The key is you have to take these steps that she so generously shared with you. Take them, apply them, and do the work. And if you do, you will accelerate your results. And Lisa, we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. I am grateful that you said yes. Carly Cunningham, if you happen to be listening, thank you for making the reintroduction so that Lisa and I could have this great conversation. And thank you for coming onto the show, Lisa, to be our mentor, to be our guide, to help us move our businesses onward to that next level. Thank you so much, my friend Stephen.


Thank you. I’m just gonna say one more thing ’cause you know what, I’ll kick myself ’cause we don’t ask for the sale. So I have to say the book is available everywhere, anywhere that you want. It’s on all the online places. So go find the book if you’re interested in it, if you think it’s gonna be of service. ’cause that’s the thing we have to ask for the business, right? So I appreciate you, I appreciate your audience listening, and if you hashtag anything bragging rights, I will come find you and cheer you on. So thank you for your time.

Fill Your Sales Pipeline Q&A

LIVE Wednesdays at 1:00 pm Eastern / 12 Noon Central

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.

Follow Us