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How To Book Sales Meetings With BILLION Dollar Brands

Alex Berman is the founder and CEO of the marketing and lead generation firm, Experiment 27.

In today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast, we speak with Alex about how we can book sales meetings with billion-dollar brands. We also discuss the definition of golden geese buyers and how salespeople can find, contact, and close these golden opportunities.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Alex Berman
B2B Cold Email Expert and Chairman at Experiment 27

Resources:

Transcript 

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of The Salesman Podcast.

 

Alex Berman:

When most people start an agency, they will go for the local business, basically whatever business they can think of, restaurants, whatever’s around their street. What I found is local businesses have low budgets, and they’re hard to work with, but they are very easy to sell to.

 

Alex Berman:

Nope, that’s it, it’s just budget and personal. Because what I found is if you could find that overlap, like I’m not looking for dying industries, I’m not looking for anything like that, because I’ve found if you can find that overlap, you’re basically good to go. It’s the easiest sale and they make you the most money. Because what happens once you start pushing past 200, 300 million in revenue is you start getting bureaucracy and you start losing a lot of that competence.

 

Will Barron:

Hello sales nation, my name is Will Barron and I’m the host of The Salesman Podcast, world’s most downloaded B2B sale show. On today’s episode we have Alex Berman. He is the founder over at Experiment 27. On today’s episode, we’re getting into how you can find, contact and close your golden geese buyers. Everything that we talk about is available in the show notes for this episode over at salesman.org. With that said, let’s jump right into it. Alex, welcome to The Salesman Podcast.

 

Alex Berman:

Thanks for having me Will.

 

What it Means to Have Golden Geese Buyers And Why You Should Go After Them · [01:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Right. Before we jump into this, I’ve got to explain. Because you corrected me even before the podcast episode started. I wanted to talk about how we can find our golden goose buyers, and you corrected me saying that, “Will, there’s not just one golden goose buyer. There’s golden geese to go at.” So with that, give the audience here a bit of clarity, Alex. What does it mean to have a golden geese buyer, and what do they mean in the marketplace, and why do we want to go after them?

 

“When most people start an agency, they will go for the local businesses, basically whatever business they can think of, restaurants, whatever’s around their street. What I found is local businesses have low budgets and they’re hard to work with, but they are very easy to sell to.” – Alex Berman · [01:48] 

 

Alex Berman:

Sure. So a little about my background, I mainly specialise in growing services businesses, so B2B agencies. This is where I’m mainly coming from here. What I’ve found is when most people start an agency, they will go for the local businesses, basically whatever business they can think of, restaurants, whatever’s around their street. What I found is local businesses have low budgets and they’re hard to work with, but they are very easy to sell to.

 

Alex Berman:

Now, a lot of other people, especially when I was at this Inc 5,000, fastest growing company, I was working at this agency as the head of digital marketing over there. We would target the enterprise, like big, big companies that you’ve heard of, Hearse, Tyson, those kind of companies. What I found is, those companies had massive budgets, but man, you ever try to sell to an enterprise company? Takes months and months and months to even get anything done.

 

Alex Berman:

So, what I’ve identified now, and what I teach everyone in email 10K, in our course, and really what we target at our lead gen agency Ex 27, is we go after the golden geese, which is companies between $5 million and $150 million in revenue. So, it’s kind of a hybrid between small business, SMB and enterprise. It’s right there in the middle.

 

Alex Berman:

The reason why we go after the $5 million to $150 million in revenue is because they are the perfect hybrid. So, they’re just as easy to sell as a mom-and-pop because you’ve got fewer decision makers controlling the budget, but they have the same level of budget as an enterprise level company.

 

Alex Berman:

So, now you’ve got these companies in the middle, I call them the golden geese, that are easy to sell to and have high budgets. That’s why we target all of those through all our campaigns now. It’s not even worth going to either of the other two.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, I know my experience both selling, not necessarily selling medical devices because I was selling that to the government essentially here in the UK. But selling out based on the podcast, selling our sales training.

 

Will Barron:

Selling to a small business, doing kind of under 10 million, I’ve not found any success whatsoever. So it’s kind of going up to the range that you give us there, Alex. But when I get to that 50, 100, brands that have done, even if they’re startups, they’ve done multiple rounds of funding.

 

Will Barron:

Immediately it becomes … I guess there’s multiple layers to this. One, they’ve got budget. Two, and I’m painting a broad brush here, you’re dealing with people who are in a fast growing company or large organisation. Probably they know what they’re doing. Again, painting broad brush here, often they know what they’re doing more so when you’re then dealing with small to medium size organisations. They’re small organisations because they’re not even choosing to grow or they’re not capable of growing.

 

How to Identify Golden Geese Buyers Using Company Budgets and Personnel · [04:18] 

 

Will Barron:

So, I find that even the individuals that I’m speaking to are more open to the marketing that we can offer them and the enterprise sales training that we can offer as well. So, is this budget and personnel? Is there any other criteria that make up these golden geese buyers?

 

Alex Berman:

Nope, that’s it. It’s just budget and personnel. Because what I found is if you can find that overlap … I’m not looking for dying industries, I’m not looking for anything like that. Because I’ve found if you can find that overlap, I mean, you’re basically good to go. It’s the easiest sale and they make you the most money.

 

Alex Berman:

Because what happens once you start pushing past $200, %300 million of revenue is you start getting bureaucracy, and you start losing a lot of that competence. At $150 million, you start getting people hidden in the organisation, which a lot of enterprise service businesses actually like that because you can hide out in a company for years and just not do anything.

 

Alex Berman:

But from a growth point of view, if you’re trying to get these companies in quick, that’s the one to go with is $5 to $150 million in revenue.

 

Alex Explains Why Sometimes It’s Worth Not Pursuing a Deal When the Effort Does Not Match The Revenue · [05:45] 

 

Will Barron:

I’ve never really pondered on, but I guess it makes sense to review your theory or analogy here, Alex, is that when I do deals with larger organisations, it’s more complex. Because typically for them to work with us, they want to do a bigger deal. Which is great on the surface, but doing two deals for $100,000 versus one deal for $150,000, sometimes the benefits and pay off with the revenue versus the amount of effort that lays a bureaucracy that you’re describing you have to go through isn’t always worth it. Has that been your experience as well?

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah, we touch it, too. We had this very enterprise level sponsor for our YouTube channel come in, and most sponsors are like, “Yeah, I’ll give you 5K for video, I’ll give you 10K for video.” This sponsor was like, I mean, it was like going to be a 100K, 150K deal, but they were like, do you have insurance for this stuff? Are your contractors in line?” They had this list of had to be 100 questions that they wanted us to go through to even consider it. At that point, do we even want the 150K, is what I’m thinking?

 

Questions to Ask When Qualifying Golden Geese Buyers · [06:18]

 

Will Barron:

How do you go about qualifying some of this in real time? Is there any questions that you ask? Perhaps you’ve got an inbound lead and you’ve not quite sussed out revenue or things like that. Is there any questions you ask to qualify a buyer could be a golden goose or geese on a phone call?

 

Alex Berman:

So where we are right now, I think even three years ago, I would’ve said, yeah, I’d run them through all these questions. Where we are right now, there’s so many great lead databases. So, we’ll run them through either Sales Nav or we’ll run them through Uplead. No, man, you can take a company, put any of them into these lead databases and you’ll get info on their revenue. You’ll get info on their customers. Yeah, if you really want to work with them, and you just want to gut check, we do also budget qualify before anyone jumps on a call with the inbound leads. We ask them what their marketing budget is for the next six months. It’s like $5,000 a month, $10,000 a month, $15,000. We have this criteria and we won’t hop on a call with anyone that doesn’t answer that question upfront.

 

Alex Berman:

So, when it’s outbound, when you’re running cold emails like we do, that’s our bread and butter still. When you’re running those cold emails, you can qualify in the lead databases. But otherwise to find the golden geese, you can either verify on one of the nav’s, Sales Nav, Uplead, or just ask them for the marketing budget and see if they can qualify that way.

 

Is It Rude to Qualify a Prospect Based on Their Marketing Budget Before Even Jumping on a Call? · [07:34]

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. I feel like a lot of people, not a lot of people, some people will listen to this and will be going well, “Is that a bit of a rude question to ask them before you’ve even gotten a call?” We’re trained that we’re supposed to give value up front and all this other stuff as sales professionals. But no, your time is valuable as well, right? If you don’t qualify the conversations that you’re having from your perspective, buyers just run us around and [crosstalk [00:07:54] as well, right?

 

Alex Berman:

If I wasn’t a sales guy, I also would say, “Oh, it’s crazy. Of course you ask for budget.” But when I was a sales guy, I did the same thing. I would hop on meetings with everybody, all the time, 15 minutes wasted here, 30 minutes wasted here. My calendar was booked solid. No, at a certain point, you realise, “I’m not even on the sales calls. Our sales team is on the calls,” but their time is more valuable than talking to time wasters.

 

“Some people are very much of the mind that you should talk to everybody. But if somebody is not willing to tell you that their budget’s $5,000 a month before you hop on a call with them, why would they ever buy from you?” – Alex Berman · [08:20] 

 

Alex Berman:

Some people are very much of the mind that you should talk to everybody. But if somebody is not willing to tell you that their budget’s $5,000 a month before you hop on a call with them, why would they ever buy from you?

 

Alex Berman:

Especially an inbound lead where they see your website. Someone comes to salesman.org, or someone comes to experiment27.com, they know what we do, they went through the about section, they probably have some questions, they’re ready to go. I know when I’m buying stuff, I’m ready to go. The more roadblocks the sales guys put up, the less likely I am even to convert. We want it to be as easy as possible and I think if they’re not ready to tell us the budget, they’re not ready to even be on the sales call.

 

Will Barron:

Just to pose this slightly and play devil’s advocate, I was on a call with Joe Grant of Grant Cardone Enterprises the other day. They do something, I guess it’s more of a sales following marketing there as opposed to a sales-led cold email approach and campaign.

 

Will Barron:

What they’re doing is, obviously Grant Cardone Enterprises has this incredibly large email database. what they’re doing is you go through the database and the goal is every single person who they have an email address and a phone number for gets a call from a sales person. Whether they’ve opted in, whether they’ve bought a book, whether they bought a training product, they are absolutely, I was going to say the word hounding. They’re hounding the list as opposed to hounding individuals. But they’re going through absolutely everyone.

 

Alex Explains the Benefits of Knowing Your Customer and How to Create Selling Strategies Based on Your Target Market · [09:42]

 

Will Barron:

So, what I’m going at here is I feel like there’s two extremes and you should be playing in the extremes as opposed to in the middle. You should be overly qualifying people, going after the people that you want to spend time with. Or the alternative, what Grant Cardone and Jarrod Glandt is doing, they’re going after absolutely everyone. But what most salespeople do is they play in the middle. They play it safe. They try to just tick boxes and that’s where you’re going to fail.

 

“It’s not like you can plug some random guy into LinkedIn and see if his family is worth $100 million dollars. You got to talk to these guys and see if they qualify for a $60,000, $100,000 coaching package.” – Alex Berman · [10:20] 

 

Alex Berman:

Will, it comes down to thinking about who your customer is. So for Jarrod and for Grant, they are selling to the average American. They’re selling high ticket coaching to the average person. So, if you’re going for everyone, it’s not like you can plug some random guy into LinkedIn and see if his family is worth $100 million dollars. You got to talk to these guys and see if they qualify for a $60,000, $100,000 coaching package.

 

“Some buyers, if the data’s harder to find and you can’t qualify them before you hop on the call, you’re going to have to hound them.” – Alex Berman · [10:42]

 

Alex Berman:

I know because I’m in that business too with email 10K and we’ve kind of scaled that back a little bit. Because who knows what the ethics are of getting random people to give you 70K for some random coaching programme? But, no, it 100% depends on your target market. Some buyers, if the data’s harder to find and you can’t qualify them before you hop on the call, you’re going to have to hound them. I know that because I’m in email 10K. The business we’re in, if we went a little bit more internet marketing-y, a little bit more into that area, yeah, we can do the same thing, we can hound them down.

 

Will Barron:

I know at [inaudible [00:11:01] we say, one of our selling points, this is a question that comes up regularly with our sales accelerator training programme over at salesman.org, people ask us, what’s the upsell? My answer is there is no upsell because I don’t have enough time to build any more products, and I’m not coaching anyone personally because I don’t could have time to do it.

 

Alex Talks About Upsells and How They Fit Them Into Their Package · [11:15]

 

Will Barron:

The product is the product, but it’s a question that comes up and I guess it’s an objection that comes up regularly with us. Because people are almost prime to it at this point of … We’re kind of digressing here and going down a different pathway of the conversations so I’ll drag it back in a second. But that is a regular objection that comes up for us. I don’t know if it’s the same with you?

 

Alex Berman:

Well, for us, we do have upsells. We’ve got the entire system built out. So, you can join email 10K. I don’t need to even say the price because in case we raise it. But it’s a four figure price, you join Email10K, which is our course.

 

Alex Berman:

Then our ideal is you go through the course and you’re either successful your own. You’re in our private community, we’re helping you there. Or you want somebody to do it for you, and then in that case, the upsell just comes naturally because we run a lead gen agency. We run a marketing agency. So you work with our agency done for you.

 

Alex Berman:

Or if you want more coaching, we also have Institute of Sales. So we have the upsales in there. I just think it’s a very different game. I could grab Grant Cardone’s business model and lay it on Email10K. I think it would work pretty well. I’m not against the business model at all.

 

How to Write Hard-Hitting Cold Email Sales Cadences · [12:22]

 

Will Barron:

Fair enough. Okay, well, let’s go back to cold email for a second. Let’s go back to B2B sales. How do you cadence, what do you do messaging wise, what do you do when you’re reaching out to people that you know, because you’ve done your research ahead of time, that’s what I’m taking away from this conversation, you’ve already done your research when you’re doing cold email. You’re not just spamming the whole market. You’re going after the golden geese, right? What’s your messaging and cadence look like to get in front of those individuals?

 

Alex Berman:

Sure. I think you made a very interesting point. There are these groups in the cold email world now. The whole thing has been fractured. Who knew how it would evolve. But no, there are these people that they’re of the mindset where if your market is like 30,000 to 100,000 contacts, you should be basically spamming. Write a good email and then blast it out to all these people.

 

Alex Berman:

I specialise in the golden geese, which are the high value people where there’s fewer of them. When we were starting Ex 27, there were 3000 agencies that were qualified that we could work with. So if we spammed all 3000 of them in one week, we would’ve blown it. We did eventually end up talking to all 3000 and had to pivot niches, so I learned this the hard way.

 

“First sentence is a compliment, butter them up. Second sentence is a case study. We’ve worked with somebody like you in the past, and we got this result. Third sentence is an ask like, “Hey, we’d love to do the same for you. Are you around this week for a quick call?” – Alex Berman · [13:37] 

 

Alex Berman:

But yeah, so what we’re doing in our cold email is we are customising every single email, at least the first sentence. The structure that I like is, first sentence as a compliment, butter them up. Second sentence is a case study. We’ve worked with somebody like you in the past, and we got this result. Third sentence is an ask like, “Hey, we’d love to do the same for you. Are you around this week for a quick call?” That’s it.

 

Alex Berman:

So, “Hey Will, loved the interview you did with Jarrod Glandt, big fan of Grant Cardone, love your question style, amazing work with the podcast. We help consulting driven businesses generate more sponsorships, and we’ve done the same for the Alex Berman Channel where we generate $10,000 a month for them. We’d love to do the same for you. Are you around for quick call this week? Let me know and I’ll send over a few times.”

 

Alex Shares His Reply and Booking Rate After Sending Out Cold Emails · [14:22]

 

Will Barron:

What kind of … Don’t share this if you feel this is confidential, but what kind of reply rates are you getting with these? Because that is pretty specific. That is going beyond what most people would send as a cold email.

 

Alex Berman:

It sounds like it’s tough, but when you break it down, it really is customised compliment that takes two minutes to write. I could have written that compliment by looking at your YouTube channel, seeing Jarrod. I know Jarrod. There, sentence done. The case study is going to be the same for everybody in the market. It’s a specific market. This would be we’re just selling to personality driven podcast companies, or personality driven B2B companies like that. Then the ask is stuck. So, it seems like it takes a lot more work, but it really only takes about two to three minutes an email.

 

Will Barron:

From that, for those emails, Alex, what kind of reply rates are you getting? Is this, the industry standard might be 1%. What are you getting from your side?

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah. So, we’re typically looking for between a 3- to 6% meeting book rate. So we’re not looking at reply rates. I mean, I will when I’m trying to optimise it, but we’re looking at, you send 100 emails and get six qualified meetings on the calendar.

 

Will Barron:

That would blow most email campaign rates out of the water. That’d be incredible for most organisations.

 

“I could send an email with a 100% reply rate, but it’s what percentage of your customers are actually booking a meeting with you?” – Alex Berman · [15:38] 

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah. I think people look at the wrong thing. They’re like, what’s our reply rate? I could send an email with 100% reply rate, but it’s what percentage of your customers are actually booking a meeting with you? If you take a couple of the right steps upfront, exactly what we’re talking about in Email10K, a couple of these right steps up front, you can jump everyone so quickly.

 

How To Ensure You’re Not Pissing People Off By Constantly Bombarding Them With Unnecessary Emails · [16:10]

 

Will Barron:

What do you do then from the perspective of, and we’ve talked about this on the podcast before, of not just blasting through the entire marketplace? How do you follow up? What’s the cadence where you’re not pissing people off eventually where they see Alex Berman and, “I’m never going to reply to that dude no matter what happens,” because they’re just sitting that kind of constant bombardment of their inbox, which again is what a lot of people who are using cold email and automation inadvertently do and they don’t realise it.

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah. They don’t realise that, and they don’t realise that when they do start writing the first lines. Every single one of those first lines. The customer is not seeing it in the same context as you. They’re not seeing 1,000 lines in a doc. You write some cringe-y, first-line compliment, that’s going directly somebody’s inbox. They’re reading that. So, a lot of people miss that.

 

Will Barron:

So, how would you follow up without being the annoying cringe-y person after the fact?

 

Alex Berman:

So, for cold traffic, we’re following up a maximum of four times. What we’re typically doing is first email is going out exactly like we’re talking about, customised. Second email is going to be just a bump like, “Hey Will, I’m sure you’re busy. I wanted to make sure this didn’t get buried.”

 

Alex Berman:

Then the third email maybe a week later is what I call the big news or the second case study, where it’s like, “Hey Will, just landed two major sponsorship deals for Grant Cardone. Another channel that you’ve worked with. Again, would love to help you close some more sponsorship deals. Let me know if you’re around.”

 

Alex Berman:

Then the fourth email is a breakup email. So, “Hey Will, I’m just going to assume that closing more sponsorship deals isn’t a priority this year. Let me know if that changes. Thanks.” So, the mindset here is you’re not going to be annoying. Dude, I’m literally working with all your competitors and closing tens of thousands of dollars of deals for them. Get on board or not, like what the fuck? That’s kind of how I am as a sales guy.

 

Alex’s Advise to Salespeople Employing Numerous Prospecting Strategies · [18:10]

 

Will Barron:

Right. What do you say, Alex, to people who have a 50 email campaign that some of it’s automated, some of it is personalised, then they’re going off doing social selling, and they’re commenting on people’s thing, and then they’re following people on Twitter, and they’re doing all this stuff, and maybe there’s a few voicemails left in there as well.

 

“If I email someone four times and I don’t get a meeting booked, I’m probably speaking to the wrong person or at the wrong time.” – Will Barron · [18:32]

 

Will Barron:

What do you say to those individuals, because I’m in agreement with you here of, if I email someone four times and I don’t get a meeting booked, I’m probably speaking to the wrong person or at the wrong time. I feel it’s 27 emails after the fact is not going to make any difference. I’m better sending another four emails in six months or 12 months from now. So what’d you say to-

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah, another four emails in 12 months or just another four emails in a couple of weeks too. You’re emailing the CEO these four, email the director of marketing. Move on down the ladder.

 

Don’t Spam Your Clients With Too Many Emails · [18:57] 

 

Will Barron:

Do you have issues when you’re working with brands and when you’re teaching people, do you have to convince them not to spam individuals? Because I find that it’s a conversation that I’m having more and more.

 

Alex Berman:

Yeah. I see it in our group too. People will join Email10K, they’ll pay the premium to learn our shit, and then they’ll go out there and spam and they’ll be like, “Alex, the emails didn’t work.” I’ll be like, “What did you do here? Send me the script,” and yeah, they’ll not be using the custom first lines. They’ll have the case study wrong, and I’ll be like, “Oh no, don’t send us through a 40 more people. Stop.” They’ll be like, “Oh dude, I already sent it off to 3000. What am I supposed to do here?”

 

Alex Berman:

So, I very much believe in artisanal, small batch emails, just like the coffee. You’re sending to 40 people. You’re not sending to 4,000. The reason why is if you’re sending to 40 people and you can get one of those to convert to a meeting off of those 40, then you get that email script so solid, maybe you sent to another 40, get it working, get another 40, you get it working.

 

“Your email should perform so well that after 100 emails your calendar is booked.” Alex Berman” – Alex Berman · [19:57] 

 

Alex Berman:

Your email should perform so well that after 100 your calendar is booked. You shouldn’t want to send 200 emails because there’s too many meetings on your calendar. That’s what we found again and again when people are following our process. That’s why we have this tested process, and that’s why I’m always talking about it because it is a game changer.

 

“I would say if you have to talk to somebody 50 times to convince them to work with you, something’s wrong either with your offer or with your messaging or with the type of person you’re talking to.”  – Alex Berman · [20:19]

 

Alex Berman:

Now, what do I say to those people that are sending 50 emails? I would say if you have to talk to somebody 50 times to convince them to work with you, something’s wrong either with your offer or with your messaging or with the type of person you’re talking to. You shouldn’t be begging people to work with you. You should be sitting here as the established, great agency.

 

Alex Berman:

If you don’t have case studies, you don’t look established. We actually in the course tell you how to get other agencies to loan you their case studies so you can look to established overnight. You need to be sitting here as the pillar. You are the guy, and you act like the guy, and the guy wouldn’t send 50 emails begging. The guy’s so busy, he’s going to maybe send three emails, four emails, and then he’s going to move on.

 

How Much is The Ability to Prospect Down to Confidence and Ability? · [21:07]

 

Will Barron:

So this is a weird question about our conversation about cold emails and it’s two different topics but I think they might be intertwined and you’ve just led us up to it. How much of this is just mindset and confidence in the ability to be the man, the woman, whatever you want to call it, and just be the badass?

 

Alex Berman:

Right, it’s a gendered term. Be the person, or guy can be gender neutral.

 

Will Barron:

We won’t go down that rabbit hole. We’ll be here all day with different pronouns and all that nonsense.

 

Alex Berman:

How much of it is mindset? I think it’s all mindset. I think everything is all mindset. But yeah, if you’re confident that you are the go-to spot, and you’re confident that you could change your bid … Right now, if I’m confident that I could generate $100,000 this month in sponsors for your channel, I’m going to tell you that. I’m going to tell you what we did in the past. Then if you don’t work with us, I’m going to go to someone else. I’ll pitch Patrick [inaudible [00:21:52]. I don’t care.

 

Will Barron:

Because it’s interesting to me … Over at salesman.org, we’ve got this assessment, there’s 12 elements to it, broken into four different groups. A lot of it is just confidence. It’s not even a bravado or anything like that. It’s just you being confident that you can offer value to someone. When you feel good about what you’re doing, you don’t need to learn how to influence. You do need to learn the old school selling of manipulating people. You don’t need anything because it just comes across as just pure confidence and that sucks people in.

 

The Link Between Sales Success and Confidence, Both in Yourself and the Product or Service You’re Selling · [22:47]

 

Will Barron:

Now, clearly it’s difficult to do that over an email versus a in-person meeting or a video call or something like that. There’s a barrier. There’s multiple layers of communication where things can get lost. But what percentage of sales success do you think comes down to just being confident that you’re actually going to be able to help someone?

 

Alex Berman:

I mean, if you’re not confident that your product … I know Greg Cardone says this too, and I used to think this was so stupid, but I was justifying because our product wasn’t good enough. When your product or service is that good, you want to sell it and you don’t really have time for anyone who has too many questions. You just kind of go for it.

 

Will Barron:

It makes all sense.

 

Alex Berman:

One more thing on that.

 

Will Barron:

Sure.

 

Alex Berman:

So, when you’re talking, a lot of people will go through and write this amazing cold email script and try to put all their personality in it. Well, what our main approach is, and I think the reason why we’re able to get that confidence across, is we follow more of the McDonald’s method versus Gordon Ramsey.

 

Alex Berman:

So, Gordon Ramsey will go out there and train for 30 years, create the ultimate beef Wellington, and then you like come there. But McDonald’s is just, sprinkle in a little salt, little sugar in it, a little fat in their meals and you just keep coming back. So the salt, sugar, and fat of a good cold email campaign is butter them up with a compliment that’s custom, we’ve done work like this in the past, super qualified, do you want to work together. That’s basically it.

 

“The person who has to put all the effort into sales is usually the worst at delivery.” – Alex Berman · [24:11] 

 

Alex Berman:

If you’re into that McDonald’s approach, you’re going to buy. If not, if you need to be buttered up a little bit, then go somewhere else. We’ll be here when your hire fails. You think this hire is going to be good for you because they’re buttering you up more. What I’ve found is the person who has to put all the effort into sales is usually the worst at delivery. But the person that is just there like, “Hey, I can do this. Come to me or not,” is usually the one that’s killing it and doesn’t have the time to be this influencer.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, that’s my experience, and that’s why the audience is going to see more content from us and less of my face within it. Because you’re right. I guess we’re going down the [inaudible [00:24:40] here, so we’ll drag it back to B2B sales here.

 

Alex Berman:

Man, [crosstalk [00:24:43] all day.

 

Will Barron:

Dude, well, we could do it. There’s a spinoff show here, but it’s just rinsing people, I’m sure. With that said mate, what happens then when you … I feel like I want to scratch the surface of the whole of your process as opposed to just focus on where we are now. So, we’ll wrap up the show with this.

 

Alex Describes What Happens When Someone Books a Meeting With Them · [24:58]

 

Will Barron:

What happens when someone books a meeting? Is that a scheduled 50 minute phone call? An hour phone call? Are you just trying to qualify them? Are you delivering some training on the call? How do you set up that transition from a email to a conversation to then getting the deal done?

 

Alex Berman:

Sure. So the first five minutes is different depending on if it’s an in-bound or an outbound. If it’s inbound and they know who we are, and then they’ve already qualified. They’ve already given their budget and everything, so we can just jump right into the diagnosis process, which I’ll talk about in one second.

 

Alex Berman:

If it’s a cold email, usually the first call starts with a little bit of introductions and then a quick 30 to 45-second pitch. So, they ask who we are and our sales guys will say something like, “Hey, I’m Alex from Ex 27 Marketing. We specialise in booking major billion dollar brands for digital agencies. We help them get massive clients. That’s kind of what I want to talk about doing for you today.” Just something really quick to qualify them, like a reminder of what you do.

 

Alex Berman:

Then you enter into the diagnosis process, which, yeah, it’s usually like 15 to 20 minutes. The reason why I call it a diagnosis is you’re a doctor getting a diagnosis. Imagine this, dude. Imagine you walked into a doctor’s office. You think you have cancer, you’ve been studying on Web MD, you think you have cancer and then the doctor immediately walks in and he’s like, “Oh, so you have cancer. All right, here’s the medicine.”

 

Alex Berman:

Versus you go into the doctor’s office and the doctor’s like, “Oh, you think you have cancer? What kind of pains are you having? Maybe we should do a test.” Which doctor do you trust more? The one that’s just trusting your own diagnosis and giving you a solution off the bat? Or do you trust the doctor that’s actually trying to like ask and ascertain if you have this disease before giving you the drug?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. Something that we do, just to double down on that analogy for a second because I use that analogy with our team. I tell them, and I do this myself, you’d be speaking to a doctor, they’d be asking questions, and then they are somewhat non-responsive to the answers. Then the next question, somewhat non-responsive. We find that then the buyer is excited to find the conclusion.

 

Will Barron:

As opposed to what most salespeople do is as soon as there’s an opportunity to mention the product to start pitching, they jump straight in there, they start throwing it down the buyer’s throat. Then the buyer feels a little bit sick because they’ve just been thrown up on of information. We tend to go the opposite direction.

 

How to Spark Customer Curiosity Using Thought-Provoking Questions · [27:20] 

 

Will Barron:

Again, this only really works if the person who you’re speaking to is somewhat pre qualified, the already interested, and maybe that’s come from a content marketing or wherever the leads come from. But yeah, just to double down that analogy,

 

Alex Berman:

But it can also come from that cold email. Literally you’re talking about improving their digital marketing, you know they’re in a golden geese type of company, so you know they have the budget. You’re making $15 million in revenue, you can afford 10, $20,000 a month in marketing. So you know they’re qualified, it’s just kind of sussing that out. If they’re not qualified, if their marketing budget is completely spent and their company’s doing as bad as it’s doing, bro, who could we fire so that we can start working together?

 

How to Pre-qualify Potential Customers · [28:00] 

 

Will Barron:

How much of a focus is this on you, especially dealing with client service businesses? Because my experience is a bad client service business as a customer is a terrible customer to have, versus a software organisation. They tend to be bad customers from my perspective. So do you do anything to qualify buyers from that perspective of, the people you actually want to work with when you meet with them? This is maybe a leadership perspective, but do you do anything to qualify buyers that you actually want to work with that are not going to be pain in the asses?

 

Alex Berman:

So, I would much rather close the deal and then we have an exit clause. I would rather close the deal, get the money up front and then fire the client. Because, yeah, sometimes you can tell, sometimes you can’t. I’m a bigger fan of just, let’s get the money now, get them to pay us the $10,000 or whatever, then, yeah, if we hate them, then we give the money back.

 

Alex of 2021’s Advise to Alex from Before the Pandemic on Better Selling · [28:52] 

 

Will Barron:

Yep, fair enough. That makes sense. Well, we’ll wrap up with this, Alex. Same question I ask everyone that comes on the show mate, and that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Alex Berman:

It depends on which era we’re talking.

 

Will Barron:

Okay, let me rephrase it. The three weeks before COVID hits the US, UK and Europe. What advice would you go back and give Alex of kind of 12, 18 months ago?

 

Alex Berman:

Okay. So, pre-COVID, honestly man, our business did better because of COVID. I would just say go bigger. I would say, get ready to go big. I would reiterate the same advice that I told myself when COVID happened, which is when everyone pulls back, you got to lean in.

 

Alex Berman:

When COVID happened, we re-did our webinar that was converting pretty well. We changed it from how to book meetings with billion dollar brands, to how to book meetings during recession. That just started crushing it. We redid our pricing, so we added a five pay over five months for this tiny amount, like $300 a month to join the thing.

 

Alex Berman:

No, so when COVID happened, I was so worried also because I saw our sales dip for that first month, or first couple of weeks when everyone was freaking out, to the point where I couldn’t even get out of bed. But then I started reading all the articles from McKinsey and the major consulting companies. I had to have the computer read them to me because I was so stressed. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. But these major billion dollar companies didn’t decide that the world was going to end because of COVID, so why would I? If Mackenzie is still trying to sell $100 million consulting packages, why would I hesitate for a second to sell a $10,000 consulting package?

 

Will Barron:

So, I wasn’t kind of in bed on the back of this, but I had a two or three week period where our sales dropped as well. I made an assumption, and it was a wrong assumption to make. It was an assumption that people don’t want to invest in their sales careers and work with us, both from a consumer perspective and a B2B perspective if there’s less money in the market.

 

Why You Need to Stop Making Assumptions About Everything · [31:02] 

 

Will Barron:

We’ve had our best year ever, 2020, and I think it was the same for you from what you’re saying here, Alex. So making these assumptions is dangerous, right? Making these assumptions about whatever it is. You should be making assumptions and pushing to be optimistic as opposed to be pessimistic in, what, 99% of situations.

 

Alex Berman:

Well, because dude, let’s say you were right. Nobody wants your thing anymore. Would you rather die as a company trying or not trying? If it really was the end of the world, and the dollar fell apart, and the US, UK went under and it was anarchy, and people were running around shooting each other in the street, how would that change if you’re in bed versus you’re doing a webinar?

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. You were in the same situation as what I am, in that I’ve been banging on for years that in-person sales training is just nonsense. Most of it can be done online, if not all of that can be done online. It’s so much more effective, cost-effective, effective of man hours, all this stuff. So I did nothing for three weeks, was stressed out, so the revenue dropped just slightly. The team was all getting still getting paid, cashflow was still fine with the organisation.

 

Will Barron:

Again, I made this terrible assumption, when I was in exactly the right place at the right time, just by some foresight but a little bit of fluke, I guess, as well. It’s just insane. How your mindset, we’re talking about cold email, which is a very objective thing to do. You write these emails, you send them, the A-B test them. But behind it all is your mindset and you believe system and everything else that goes along with sales, right?

 

Alex Berman:

Well, what’s so crazy is we know what to do. You saw the stock market, dude. Stock market dipped. Everyone was like, “Oh crap. The economy’s dead.” Then guess what? It shot right back up, because everyone knew, or at least the people that made money knew, that when the stock market dips, it’s actually buying opportunity.

 

Alex Berman:

It’s the same for business. Walt Disney said, I think this was Walt Disney, he was like, “When everybody else is scared, you go all in. Because who cares?” I added the who cares, but when everyone else is scared, go all in.

 

“When you’re thinking the world’s going to end, a lot of people would rather stock up on toilet paper than actually help their business grow.” – Alex Berman · [33:11]

 

Alex Berman:

We all knew that, that’s the wisdom. But then when you’re thinking the world’s going to end, a lot of people would rather stock up on toilet paper than actually help their business grow at the one time that it matters. Generational wealth was built in the last seven months, and people were just so depressed and scared because they’re watching the news that they missed it. Y’all missed it. That’s it. What’s the next shakeup going to happen? When was the last coronavirus, maybe 9/11? Maybe 2001?

 

Will Barron:

Or 2008 with the financial crisis.

 

Alex Berman:

Or 2008, yeah, so it’s going to be maybe another 10 years. Sorry, but you missed it.

 

Parting Thoughts · [33:51]

 

Will Barron:

Well, with that Alex, tell us where we can find Email10K and tell us what you’re up to at Experiment 27 as well?

 

Alex Berman:

Sure. So the main thing if you want to get all the free content, that’s Alexberman.com. That goes right to our YouTube channel. You can check out our free sales training. Email10K is email10K.com. Then our marketing agency is Experiment27.com.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. Well, I’ll link to all of that and the show notes of this episode over at salesman.org, and with that, Alex, I appreciate your … Do you know what, actually? I had a really good chat with you. Some of the guests for the past few weeks have been a bit dry, mate, so I appreciate the energy, just the real talk, mate. That comes across, I think the audience appreciated that as well. So I want to thank you again for joining us on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Alex Berman:

Thanks, Will.

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