In today’s conversation with Kat, she’s sharing 3 important traps to be cautious of as an entrepreneur and business owner. Kat’s recent experience of witnessing her husband start his own business is the inspiration behind today’s topic. From feeling like you need a bunch of assets, such as a logo, before you can even make a sale, to the more surprising trap of putting learning before selling, this episode is a must for any business owner, especially if you are just starting out. Kat also explains why selling and sales skills is the key to making any marketing tactic work, and why it’s so important to sharpen your ability to sell especially if you’re ready to grow your business and reach more clients.
In this episode, we cover:
- The trap of feeling like you need all these things before you make a sale
- What happens when you focus more on other activities instead of selling
- The mistake of putting learning before selling
- Why cold calling still and other marketing tactics will work if you have sales skills
- Why your ability to sell is all it takes for someone to make a decision
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Connect with us: https://www.instagram.com/theguideculture/
Hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast. A couple of weeks ago, I did a car chat with Kat, it’s something I enjoy doing is acting like you’re in the car with me. And today we’re on a walk, you and I. And what we’re going to talk about today is honestly what’s happening on the really behind the scenes in my life, which is that Car, my husband, started a business in the last month, which is so recent. And what I am witnessing, as someone who is building a business, and who sells, and who teaches other people how to sell with meaning, and purpose, and passion and just witnessing, I think you’re gonna really enjoy it. And I hope I really wish we could just be having a real conversation right now. But I can’t wait to get your feedback on this. I wanted to thank you. A lot of you have left reviews lately on the podcast, and it has meant so much to be honest with you. I never think about asking for reviews because you know, we just put the content out and hope you love it. Just hearing that you love it means so much and come to find out. When you leave a review and you rate the podcast, you actually help more people find the podcast, it kind of shows up on an algorithm or something for recommendations. So thank you, thank you, thank you, cannot wait to see who finds the podcast because of you. Okay, so I want to talk today about the three traps that entrepreneurs fall in, that business owners fall in, when they want to grow. And this is all based on what I’m witnessing with Carl. None of this is pretend, this is all very real. And it is making me crazy, but crazy in a good way, because it’s also fixable if that makes sense. It’s crazy how every industry I’m seeing could experience these traps, okay, because I’m an online business kind of, I guess, you know, we work on Instagram and things like that. So I’m thinking, Okay, well, this whole online marketing stuff, like it’s just tempting for us, like most people listening to this. Oh, no, no, no. This is tempting for everybody. Okay, so here we go. The first trap is that it can feel like you need all this. The first trap is that it can feel like you need all the things before you make a sale. Now, what do I mean by things? First trap is that it can feel like you need all the things before you start making sales. And how this has happened in Carl’s life, and what’s so interesting is that no one would tell you this is true. Like I’m not watching Carl say, no, I don’t want to make sales, I want to do this first, of course, he wants sales. And it feels like this is the natural thing to do first. So one of those things that is playing out is a logo. Another one is business cards. Another is getting some sort of insurance. Another is, you know, getting the business banking account. And let’s think just you hear me, right? It’s like these things that you could make an argument for every single one of them and why you would benefit from them. And legally, some of them might be 100% needed, right? And that’s all fine and great. What is also true, is that doing sales activities correctly, doing the things they’ll actually bring in leads and closing sales, customers and clients. These are not the same things. Making a logo, talking to a designer is not income producing period. And it’s like I said, sometimes it’s not cool or helpful. It’s just that it’s really just entertaining. Having a business card only works if you are having conversations with people who want your business card, right? And so what I was saying is, hey, this is all great, it’s gonna be fine. Let’s start with conversations, that healthy things actually matter. Right, you can have a logo, his background is in installation, so like, he did this for 10 years, and what installation means is like, if your local Walmart is getting updated, he would send out a crew of people who would hang the new signs above the aisles or whatever. So they would wear shirts, and shirts that have a logo on them. So he’s like, I need a logo in case I get a shirt made. Okay, anyway, so you get my point, people feel like they need the things before they make the sales. And in his case, he would be able to make sales by calling people, like cold calling, or following up with people who was recommended to him, etc. Those things are not needed, like a logo, to do that. Okay, that’s number one. The number two trap is that you do other activities that are not selling. So other activities that are not selling, would be researching, it would be looking into, you know, what are some other companies in the area, things like that, it just feels like so important to research. You know what? For him, he wants to work with interior designers. So to research designers and make it make your list, right? Has anyone ever said, oh, I’m like, gonna put my list together, and then I’m gonna follow up with him, or then I’m gonna reach out to him. And it feels like, oh, if I just like get this CRM system, and I like, plug in the names, I get them to divert to a Google Sheet, and I label them correctly, then, you know, then I’ll follow up with them and talk to them. Those are activities that feel like they’re setting you up for success. I totally get it. Right, because being organized is a good quality. What’s also true is that you can have a spreadsheet of people who don’t buy from you. Because you’re not putting conversations first. And you’re not putting your business sales first. Because without your sales, not only can you not pay for the logo, you don’t even have a business, you know what I’m saying? It ends up just being a hobby at this point. Okay? So those activities are not selling. They are not selling. In fact, if you’re selling and you’re a disorganized mess, I salute you. And when you’re selling and you’re a disorganized mess, you can get help. You can ask people to come work for you and say, hey, you are an important part of this mission. Here’s the vision of the company, you can be a vital part of that. Let’s use your skills to be organized and make this thing happen. Okay, so when you’re making sales, you can hire people to do the things that you are not as good at and they are very good at it everyone is to live in their zone of genius, which is the best news in the whole world and why business is incredible if and only if you are making sales. Okay, number three, here is what I was most surprised by, period. It was crazy. It was right before, he hadn’t even had his last day at his job yet, and he’s googling stuff about, I don’t know, it was like being a handyman, okay? Because he’s installing for companies. And so it kind of falls under the handyman category. So he’s looking into it and what didn’t you know it, he finds a YouTube video. And it basically links to a webinar about being a handyman. And also there was this, you know, $97 download about how to be a handyman and how to start your handyman business. And this guy was selling a course on the handyman business side of things. And Carl just totally got sucked into this funnel. I could not believe it. And I wasn’t mad about it at all. I was fascinated that this guy on the internet was trying to teach people how to start a business. And I truly thought it was just for kind of us the people listening to this podcast and the online business world. if that was something that we dealt with, like, if you want to go online, this net, isn’t that, no, no, this is something that is everywhere. So point being is that it really was a close call where Carl almost bought a course on how to do business. And you might be thinking Kat, I shouldn’t have done that. The reason he shouldn’t have done that, in this case, now, courses are important, of course, they are learning, it’s great. In this case, he did not need that, to make sales, he was going to be putting learning before selling. And in this case, he has the skill to do the work, where he could legally go into someone’s home and help them install their artwork, or their light fixture or whatever he needed to do. He could legally do that. And all he was missing was selling, period. So for him to take a course on how to build a business was ridiculous. And it was very close call. But he agreed, like I don’t need that. I’m just gonna get to work. So it felt like a lifetime before the needle moving activity started. Because to me, like, it’s a major problem. And I’m a sales trainer watching this go down. And I’m like, no wonder people are so confused, so discouraged. And they’re spending so much time and money and energy on stuff that’s not making them money, that by the time they finally come to grips that sales is their problem. And they come to Guide Culture, they talk to me, see myself on Instagram. No wonder you’re so potentially skeptical, or feeling drained, right? Because there’s all these traps, like oh, my gosh, this is going to be it, I’m finally going to win, this logo is going to attract people, the colors are going to be psychologically pleasing on my website. And my photos are gonna draw people in. And I hope it goes without saying that all of these things have their place. And I really believe that in the business world, we are all parts of one body designed to help people get value 1,000,000%. That body will not function without the fuel of sales. It will be exhausted and die. It will be undernourished and die. So while the body is important, it must be fed. And that is why those are so important. Now that we’ve touched on the three traps, I want to tell you my three greatest. And an epiphany has been encouragement. It’s a three out of three, actually, I think it’s just one or two. But it is so I guess encouraging is the best word to see how this can still work for people. In my own real like, before my eyes, I saw it. Okay, so I think the biggest thing that has encouraged me that cold calling still works. I knew this to be true in my brain. Because it all works. Like when you have skills to have good conversations, you can do whatever you want to do. We call it the container with the juice. If you want to take online marketing, through ads, they can work when you have sales skills. When you have a webinar, or cold calling, or Instagram reels or Tik Tok, it all works, because it’s just a container that can hold the juice. So I didn’t know it logically. But basically what happened was, he got off the phone book, metaphorically, which is Google. And I know not everyone can do this. But this is just a specific example in case there’s someone out there who’s like, oh, I could also get out with Google. And I could reach out to companies, I could do this. Like, I could actually get off of Instagram for five seconds and talk to people directly quickly without spending a dime on marketing. So he ends up getting out of Google and searching all these interior designers, because that’s who he wants to help. He wants to help their clients, you know, and I think it’s like 15 people ends up having like, three hours worth of conversations in two weeks. Which the the kind of stereotype of cold calling is that you get hung up on and bla bla bla and what I witnessed to be true, is that if your business actually solves a problem, people want to talk to you. They really want to hear what you have to say. And through these conversations that he was having, they were not all great. People had these kind of questions, slash objections that, you know, he had handle. And he was able to handle it I’m not going to lie, I’ve done a bit of Carl coaching lately, he went through Guide Culture. Certainly after I originally did in 2019, there was a men’s only training, which was really cool, the MS if you want that to come back. But anyway, he did a men’s only training. So he’s gone through it, he’s just rusty, compared to your old gal kitty here. And so walk him through some of those conversations. And, again, actually, I witnessed all these pitfalls, all these little nuances, such as, like, people say, well, what do you mean by what you do? What is an installer? You know? And instead of getting defensive, like, what do you mean, you don’t get it? Right, it’s actually able to get on their team, and build the value about what it could mean for them specifically, and asking the right questions, and just getting your foot in the door, to have a professional conversation. So that was really, really cool. In fact, what ended up happening was, he just, I just found out, and he was making those calls one day, and turns out, he was in the closet doing this so no one could hear him. And he comes out, and he’s like, oh, my gosh, that was amazing. There’s a designer who said.. you know what, here’s the long version really quick in matter. So they’re talking back and forth about, you know, maybe I’ll use you, like, this is cool, blah, blah, blah, wasn’t really directly going into a job that he could get, but just kind of earning some rapport, you know, that trust. And he goes into really explaining the specific value he had building the value of his skill set. And this is a total technique that you can use, and carry with you in any type of conversation. And she said, you know, her brain opened up. She said, you know, what, I actually have a job that I have been, it’s the 11th hour, and I don’t know how I’m gonna get this thing home, it’s for a TV show, and I just, I’ve been wondering how I’m going to do this. And based on what he had told her about his skill set, she thought, well, like, I think you can do this for me, it’s not paying the most. This is the budget, blah, blah. And he got job from the his very first cold call to this designer. And so I think the principle that I want you to take away from that is, she didn’t answer the phone and say, oh, my gosh, yes, I’ve been looking for someone like you. Yeah, she was interested in the conversation. But the job got both because of the info gather of the poor, of the being able to build value. Specifically for her, he listened, he was able to tell you so much about her and her role as owner, and what she needed. I’m just like, I couldn’t coach him to do that. He did that by himself, because he knows what to do. And I just know for a fact that it was because of skills, as rusty as they may have been, they were there. And it’s so freaking encouraging. And I just want you to be reminded and encouraged that conversations matter. Conversations matter, because that’s how you get people on board. Conversations can turn into content 1,000,000%, if you work in this space, like online, and if you’re not, like Carl will probably never be online for the foreseeable future. And it doesn’t matter, right? Because when you have the ability to sell, you can move the needle faster than you would ever imagine. And a couple of little conversation pitfalls I’ve witnessed that I just have set out to me like a sore thumb have been when someone’s text him or there’s like a follow up necessary or you’re honestly just like trying to get down to business like, okay, are we like closing this thing or not? People will, they’ll go back and forth in the conversation. And he’ll explain like the quote, for example, oh, isn’t this a big one? Hope you’re listening. They’ll say, oh, how much is that? Right? He’ll give a price sometimes. And they’ll say, okay. Has that ever happened to you? Where someone just says, okay, and you do not know where to take it from there? Well, when you have sales skills, and you can have a conversation like this, you actually know how to bring it back into a decision. And so that’s what we worked on is very, very, very, very easy as a one question statement. That helped him get an answer. And as I’m walking right now, he’s done that job. Because of the question he asked yesterday, when I literally was like, Okay, well, you blew it. You blew it. And then when he consulted me, I said, no, ask this question. Like, you can do this. And that’s on failed skills. That’s not me. This woman does not, she wasn’t talking to me, she was talking to Carl. And that’s all it takes, is your ability to sell and get people to a decision. So it’s just really, really encouraging even the quote thing of, oh, can you send a quote, something that I think happened to him? I can’t really remember, actually, this might be the same story. But there’s the tension of well, how much is it? And then you wonder like, well, is the ball just in their court after that? And the reality is no, no, the ball needs to stay in your court as much as possible. And there absolutely is a way to find out, do they have a budget for what you’re doing? What is their situation, there is a way to keep the control, and give you the ability as a professional to manage that conversation. Like it’s not on them to understand why there’s value in what you do. That’s your job. And so when you have the skills to navigate that conversation, that is where it’s at. And so I’ve just witnessed all these different little nuances. Like, you know, the quotes and the closing questions and things like that, that are an absolute game changer, because you can do all the calling, you can do all the posting, you can be so entertaining, you can be the one that is the most engaging on Instagram and not be closing people not being losing them to a decision. You can be out of control when it comes to a conversation, or people just, they’re so interested, oh my gosh, how much is that? Oh, my gosh, I need that. Oh, my gosh, that’s so cool. But you can’t get them to a decision. So it looks like you’re making all these sales and you’re not. So the traps, I mean, review. It’s easy to think you need all the things before we started selling, it’s easy to do activities that feel important, but they’re not selling, you could actually be delegating some of those. It’s easy to get sucked into the online marketing of things. And what I didn’t mention about this was he, one of the things, you signed up for this thing that, you know, kind of markets him a little bit. But it really just leaves you waiting for leads. And he was getting kind of frustrated after like 12 hours, which is funny. And I said, you know what, you’re sitting here waiting, go pick the phone up. And that’s when he got ahold of that designer in the cloth. It was just funny. So I just want you to know that you can’t be in control. You can’t have predictable outcomes. You can get better and better and better at this. It’s a skill set, just like anything, riding a bike. If you ever did sports, you know that you’re not good on the first day. But you still learn and have a day one, give yourself permission to get better. Because it’s better than going out of business. And, of course, in this specific case, I don’t want to go out of business, right? I want him to thrive and be happy and feel like he has worth right. Because of course he does have worth as a person. There’s something unique about work that makes you feel so capable of things. And even having a good conversation is a win for being able to take it to the endzone is how you truly win. And every single one of you is capable of that. So I hope this encouraged you to know you can focus on the right things. And if you want help with this, if you’re like, man, I’m not in control, I am focusing on the wrong things, I’ve been promised a pipe dream. And you want to really move the needle, in your sails and in your conversation, I cannot encourage you enough to sign up for work, the last cohort of 2022. It starts October 7, but the deadline is September 30. And it will be the most, the best way to get a head start on 2023. Right? I really want to discourage you from waiting because it takes a minute to get momentum, depending on where you’re at. If you’re already having conversations that lead that say, you’ll get traction faster, of course. But if you need to start generating interest, move people into a conversation, you’re going to want to become the person who people want to buy from sooner than later. And if you’ve told honestly, the costs of that this takes until mid of the next year, and that’s at the soonest, potentially. So this is a game of you asking yourself and being honest. Like what does this cost if you don’t? What does it cost you to not have the clarity and the control over your business that is so possible for you. If you need to ask questions and see if you’re a good fit. And to know that this is the real deal. Feel free to message us on Instagram at the Guide Culture, me or Macy, we’ll get back to you ASAP. Put the word trap in there, since we’re talking about that today. I can’t wait to talk to you before the deadline. Spots are not unlimited. There’s only gosh, probably only 30 spots left. I don’t know at the time of this going out. This happened fast, one time 30 sales were made in a week. One time 100 sales were made in a week. So I really can’t say, I wish I could predict the future, but I cannot. What I do know is that you are worth betting on. You can do this. You can dig deeper, you can clean out the construction zone. But it’s your business. Get in there and build something that you’re proud of. I really believe that and I cannot wait to see you in this cohort. I hope this episode has benefited you again. Thank you so much for listening and reviewing and rating and just being on this journey of becoming a winner. And living the way winners do, which is always growing, never settling, and ultimately living a legacy that you made people better, through your business and through your life. We’ll see you on the next episode.