Looking at what’s current in terms of marketing techniques, we hear about online funnels and Facebook ads. But do these trends hold up to the hype? It’s an idea that attracts many, essentially because the value proposition is that you can set this thing up, do very little work, sit on the beach for half an hour a day and let all the money wash over your beautiful body. But the actual process is a lot more complicated than that. Tom Poland talks about prospecting and lead generation, and how his book “Leadsology: The Science of Being In Demand” instills more confidence in his clients. He says that it is incumbent upon you to generate, systematize, and master the generation of leads. After that, everything else will follow because nothing happens in a business until something is sold… and nothing is sold until the lead is generated. But worry not: Tom Poland is an expert in presenting your business like you’ve already made it – and this is the secret to being in demand.
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Tom Poland Redefines Marketing Relationships with “Leadsology”
I have Tom Poland with me. Tom started his first business at age 24. He’s gone on to start and sell four others, taking two of them international. In that time, he’s managed teams of over 100 people, an annual revenue of more than $20 million. He’s the bestselling author of Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand. He shared international speaking platforms with people like Michael Gerber from the E-Myth, Richard Koch from The 80/20 Principle, Brian Tracy, and many more. Excited to have you here, Tom. Welcome to Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thanks, Terri. It’s a real privilege to be invited. I appreciate it.
First of all, I’m curious. You’ve obviously done really well in business. You’ve been super successful. What is it that allows you to be successful? How do you market your business to be successful?
If we look at it strategically, there’s a certain relentlessness which has been present in my life. I’ve just now getting 60 years of age, so I’ve been doing this for 37 something year. If I sum it up strategically, I’d say it’s the willingness and the preparedness to fail repeatedly, time and time again. It’s the willingness to feel the frustration and disappointment that I need to get back on the horse again, I suppose. Nine out of ten things that I’ve tried in my career had failed in respect to marketing. What you’re left with when you got that one out of ten things that finally works is pure gold.
Is there a difference between marketing a service business like consulting or something like that as opposed to marketing a tangible physical product?
One of the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing now because I noticed that distinction. When you’re offering service advice or even software for that matter, this is a physical product. It’s far more like proposing marriage than it is selling a car. When you sell a car, people don’t really have to click with you. They don’t have to know you particularly well. They just have to know the car is in good condition. They’ll do the transaction even if you don’t have that level of rapport. When you’re proposing and someone engages with you for professional advice over a period of time, they’re going to have to enter into a relationship with you.
The primary difference is that we need to learn to have some dates with our prospects before we pop the question, before we propose. We’ve got to establish four levels of relationship influence, not just rapport, which is number one, but also respect, reliability whereby they feel that we understand their problem and what they’re going through, but also reciprocity whereby they feel that we’ve done so much for them to help them that they would rather do business with us than anyone else. The big difference is that we’re actually marketing more of a relationship and less of a commodity.
I had that question come up a lot. When people say, “Is there a difference in selling a widget?” a lot of people aren’t sure about that. I have my opinion and I’m curious of yours. There’s so much conversation about traditional marketing methods and about using them versus not using them. I have my opinion. I’m going to hold it to hear yours first.
If you look at what’s current in respect of traditional, we’re hearing about online funnels, Facebook ads, it’ a nice idea because the value proposition essentially is that you can set this thing up and then do very little work and watch all the money flow and sit on the beach for half an hour a day and let all the money wash over your beautiful body. Just taking that as one example, all I found was very complicated. I’ve run them for many years and profited well from them. They’ve become very expensive also, particularly just starting with paid advertising such as Facebook Advertising or LinkedIn Advertising, etc. You got to do a lot of matching your product. You’ve got to probably have premium price. It’s not just the cost of the lead acquisition, which I show people how to get those same leads for free, in fact better quality. It’s not just the unnecessary cost of the acquisition.
To get these things working well, you need to split test it every step. You need to split test the ads, find out which ones to champion, kill the loser off, challenge the champion with another one. Let’s say landing pages, you need to split test the offer. You need to segment the responses to each offer and set up a different series of auto-responders to respond. This is complex and it’s a specialty. It’s not something that I recommended to people. Don’t try this at home because you need an expert to figure this thing out. If I can generate 1,200 subscriber opt-ins in the last 90 days, that would cost me $15,000 using Facebook Ads, and I can do that for free. In that case, I would definitely avoid that as a traditional marketing method. When you understand that prospecting and lead generation is more like proposing marriage than it is selling a car, then you buy into the idea that you need to have patience and let people get to know you. That means, there aren’t shortcuts as such casual culture seekers. It’s not like the reality TV program Married at First Sight. We know how emotional those marriages are.
I love your analogy about proposing marriage. I always say to my clients, “You don’t want your business to be like running around asking people to have sex on the first date,” so this works really well. You want to romance people.
Tempted though you might be.
You want people to get to know you. You want to build a relationship. I also second, there are no shortcuts. This is really important. What made you so successful? Not a lot of people in my experience, have been able to build so many businesses and start at a young age. What is your secret?
I don’t think there’s a secret as such. I was quite fortunate enough to have these moments just sitting in a workshop or an event and it might go for four days, but there’s one that stays with you for twenty years or so. I can’t remember who the speaker was, but he was talking about Michael Jordan and Nike and he was talking about Michael Jackson and that song and Pepsi. He said the reasons that Nike will pay Michael Jordan $10 million to go to Japan and promote some shoes and the reason that Pepsi will pay Michael Jackson some $30 million to do an ice segment advertisement is that Nike understands that they are not a sports apparel company, they’re a marketing company, and Pepsi understands that they’re not a softdrink company, they’re a marketing company.
When the speaker said that, it just completely flipped my brain. It reversed from 80/20. From 80%, this is about value delivery, that should be my focus, and 20% will be marketing, it’s flipped that on its head. I got my team around and I said, “Guys, what business are we in?” It’s a trick question, and they said, “We’re in business education or we’re the business of helping people create better businesses.” I said, “Yeah, that’s all true, but I want you to think of now as we’re now in the business of marketing those things.” If I can think of one single breakthrough moment, that was it. That’s how I got to be so lucky.
I’m so glad we’re having this conversation. I really resonate. At one of my events recently, I asked the audience, “What business do you run.” I just went around with a microphone. It was, “I’m a chiropractor. I’m a this, I’m a that.” I said, “No, you’re in the business of marketing your chiropractic business.”It’s the point that the business owners miss. They sometimes get confused about how and where to spend their time.
The paradigm is it’s all about the client. When we get a client on, we have a responsibility not just to deliver on the promise that they will enter that we miss then but to drive them I believe. That’s understandable that’s the primary focus. People are trained for three years in chiropractor or they’re trained in electricity, or whatever it is they’re trained in. That has been their focus, that has been their attention. If you look at acupuncture or if you look at someone who does refrigeration, how much time did they get actually training in terms of marketing what they do? Nothing, maybe half an hour in four years. That’s the paradigm. That’s the way they come out thinking.
My encouragement to people is to understand that if you are the financial breadwinner for your family, in that case your whole financial future depends on your ability to master the generation of high quality leads. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to take the responsibility seriously and to generate, systemize, and master the generation of leads. After that, everything else will follow it because they say nothing happens in a business until something is sold. I think that’s true because you can’t pay bills, you can’t grow the business, you’ve got no money for holidays and everything else personally, but nothing is sold until the lead is generated.
Nothing is sold until lead is generated. It couldn’t be truer. Let me ask you, first of all, how do we get your book, Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand?
People can go to www.GetTomsBook.com. That will actually redirect to my Amazon homepages. There’s three books there but Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand is the bestseller.
Is that the best way for people to connect with you, Tom?
There’s another opportunity for people that’s completely free. It takes them through a very effective way of building a marketing message, which is the foundation of all marketing. It’s called www.FiveHourChallenge.com. It’s five hours over five days. It shows them how to create a marketing message and to use it to generate five fresh leads and hopefully win your client.
Thank you. That’s super generous and I totally appreciate that. I’m going to take you up on that challenge. You’re going to see me in there. It’s been awesome chatting with you. I’d like to have you back on the show again in the future. There’s so many more things I want to ask about. I’ve totally enjoyed having you, so thanks for being a guest here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thanks, Terri. It’s been a privilege.
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- Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand
- The 80/20 Principle
About Tom Poland
Tom is a Marketing Mentor who started his first business at age 24 and has gone on to start and sell four others, taking two of them international. In that time he’s managed teams of over 100 people and annual revenue of more than 20 million.
These days Tom’s thing is “Leadsology: The Science of Being in Demand” which is a blended learning program that gives professional advisors a model for generating a flow of high-quality, inbound, new client enquiries into their businesses almost every week of the year.
Over 2000 business owners across 193 different industries and 4 continents have been through his programs and many have gone on to add millions to their earnings and their testimonials are available on his website
Tom’s work has been published in 27 countries and he’s also shared international speaking platforms with the likes of Michael Gerber of E-Myth fame, Richard Koch from the 80-20 Principle, Brian Tracy and many others.