299 episodes

The Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales podcast provides tips on how to increase sales, improve profit margins and grow your business. Each week, we address issues related to important topics like targeting your ideal prospects, fine-tuning your messaging, attracting the clients you need, monetizing social media, the MVPs of Marketing and Sales and much more. From mindset to marketing and prospecting to podcasting, the Top Secrets podcast helps B2B and B2C entrepreneurs, professionals and salespeople get more of the customers and clients they need so they can do more of the work they love.

Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales David Blaise

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 11 Ratings

The Top Secrets of Marketing & Sales podcast provides tips on how to increase sales, improve profit margins and grow your business. Each week, we address issues related to important topics like targeting your ideal prospects, fine-tuning your messaging, attracting the clients you need, monetizing social media, the MVPs of Marketing and Sales and much more. From mindset to marketing and prospecting to podcasting, the Top Secrets podcast helps B2B and B2C entrepreneurs, professionals and salespeople get more of the customers and clients they need so they can do more of the work they love.

    Outperform Your Competitors

    Outperform Your Competitors

    Once you outperform your competitors in terms of the way that you do things, the way that you make your presentations, the way that you interact with your clients, the way that you follow up and service them -- when you're already outperforming your other competitors in that area, then the only thing you can really do is focus on how can I outperform my previous performance?

    David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today's episode, co host Bianca Istvan and I will be discussing the topic of outperforming your top competitor. Welcome back, Bianca.

    Bianca: Thanks so much, David. So happy to be here with you. And what are we talking about? And what does that mean to outperform your top competitor?

    David: Yeah, great question. For a lot of people, we kind of feel like we need to do it. We want to do it, but we're not quite sure how or what or even who they are. So, what it means to me is that we are doing a better job at the things that need to be done to be able to deliver a positive result for our clients.

    So outperforming a top competitor means that we're doing it better. We're doing it differently. And we're able to convey that to people in a way where they understand it. They understand that there's a difference between the way that we deliver things and the way that other people deliver things.

    Bianca: Wow, that's absolutely fantastic. And, you know, thanks for bringing so much awareness because yeah, it's a lot of confusion around this topic. And you mentioned something about who our competitor is. So how do you even determine who that is?

    David: For a lot of people, when you're out there in the market and you're talking to people about buying your products and services, they'll say, Oh, well, I deal with this person or I deal with that person.

    So that's a good way to find out who your top competitors are. Because if you keep hearing the same names over and over again, that's a pretty good indication that they're a top competitor.

    Also, very often when we're starting out in a market, we may be aware of sort of the big dog in the market, the person who is already recognized as a leader.

    So, you may just know when you're going in the person who does the most advertising or who seems to be the best known in the marketplace. That's also a good way to determine, okay, this might be one of my top competitors.

    Ultimately, we need to decide who we see as our top competitors. But that's really just the starting point. Because I think that people make a big mistake when they focus on outperforming other people as their top competitors versus getting to the point where they ultimately have to outperform themselves, right?

    So I think ultimately we want to get to a point where we are our own top competitor that we're trying to outperform.

    Because once you've outperformed your other competitors in terms of the way that you do things, the way that you make your presentations, the way that you interact with your clients, the way that you follow up and service them.

    When you're already outperforming your other competitors in that area, then the only thing you can really do is focus on how can I outperform my previous performance?

    Bianca: Wow, that's absolutely a great answer. And I heard there a lot of hows. So how do you really outperform your top competitor?

    David: Well, a lot of it has to do with determining what is it that we're saying to people.

    How are we saying it? How often are we saying it? So it really boils down to a lot of our interactions with our clients. How often we're communicating with them, the very specific things that we're saying. The way that we're performing.

    Are we able to deliver what they're looking for in a timely manner?

    • 7 min
    The Alternative to Brute Force Selling

    The Alternative to Brute Force Selling

    Brute force selling usually comes about when someone feels like they have to sell their product or service, regardless of the needs, wants, or desires of their prospect. The alternative is better understanding, relationship building, and effective qualification.

    David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today's episode, cohost Jay McFarland, and I will be discussing the idea of brute force selling. Welcome, Jay.

    Jay: Hey, thank you so much, David. I know we've talked about a lot of different issues, you know, generating leads and those types of things. I'm very anxious to talk about this brute force. When I hear it, as a customer, I'm like "brute for selling? What exactly do you mean here?" Because I might want to run away from it.

    The Case Against Brute Force Selling

    David: Yeah, well, I'm not really here today to advocate for brute force selling, okay? So, definitely not my first choice, but it seems to me like there are so many people, so many industries that tend to engage in it, that I thought we should probably have the discussion.

    Jay: Yeah. I mean, nothing could be worse than chasing potential clients away. I think there's a fine line between brute force and still trying to help customers understand the importance of your products and using good sales techniques. It's really a fine line. Isn't it?

    David: It is. There's definitely a balance. And I think there's a big difference between persistence and brute force selling. But to get to the core of it. I think one of the biggest problems that a lot of small business owners and salespeople have today is that they think in terms of selling.

    I have to sell this product, or I have to sell this idea. I have to sell this concept. I have to sell this customer. "I have to sell," being the main thing.

    When you're approaching someone for the first time with the idea of, "I have to sell," it's easy to slip into the wrong gear about trying to push what you have onto them before you've even identified, whether they have a need desire, money, budget, willingness to spend, any of those things.

    When I think in terms of brute force selling, to me, it's often about people who have gotten into sales. They've been given maybe a lead sheet or in the old days, it was a phone book by their manager who said, "Go make sales. Knock yourself out."

    And when you don't know how to do that well, then trying to sort of push or bully or cajole people into buying from you becomes the default.

    So when the focus is just on sales as the first, middle, and end of the process, it's kind of a lose/lose for both the salesperson and the prospect. Also for the company. So it's a lose all the way around.

    Effective Qualification is the Key

    If we can train salespeople on the idea of first determining need, identifying whether or not this person is a good candidate for what we're selling. I mean, we're really just talking about qualifying. And a lot of salespeople and even a lot of sales managers fail to make the distinction between qualification and selling.

    When we're qualifying somebody, we're not trying to convince or persuade them to buy our stuff. We're trying to find out if our stuff even makes sense for them.

    And what I've seen over the years is that there are a lot of salespeople who waste enormous amounts of time pushing and trying to sell to people who have absolutely no capability even to buy what it is that they're selling.

    Without taking that step back and saying, okay, let's do a little qualification first. Let's find out what this person is dealing with, and what sort of help they need. And if I can even help them, if you do that first, then you can find out pretty quickly if somebody is a good prospect for you or not.

    And if they're not,

    • 15 min
    First Contact Does Not Mean Cold Calling

    First Contact Does Not Mean Cold Calling

    Just the idea of initiating first contact versus cold calling is a lot more exciting. It's a lot less intimidating in most cases. I started using that phrase after I saw an old Star Trek movie where they referred to first contact as being your first contact with an alien species. And I just thought, wow, that has a lot of correlations with sales. Where you're approaching somebody and you really don't know what you're getting into. Strange new worlds and all that sort of thing....

    David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. In today's episode, cohost Jay McFarland and I will be discussing the idea of initiating first contact with a new prospect. Welcome back, Jay.

    Jay: I'm so glad to be here, David, and I'm excited to talk about this issue because to me, personally, this is one of the hardest things to do.

    I'm fine once that first contact has been made. I feel like I'm really good at building relationships and closing.

    David: Mm-hmm.

    Jay: But I'm terrified about making that first contact and I'm not really sure how to do it. So I find myself shooting in the dark all the time trying to figure it out.

    David: Yeah, well, you're certainly not alone.

    I've certainly felt that way myself, and nearly everybody I've ever met in sales has had issues with it. And we talked about this in a previous podcast. We were talking about cold calling and the idea that cold calling is really just one form of first contact. And so the reason I thought it would be good to have a discussion on the topic of First Contact itself is to first of all, recognize that, yeah, it's more than just cold calling.

    There are lots of different aspects to it. And if you realize that, then you also realize that you can get comfortable with first contact, generally by engaging in a first contact method that is more comfortable for you. So if cold calling is not your primary thing, you have other alternatives and that should maybe give you a little bit of hope.

    Jay: Yeah, that does give me hope and I think the key is to know what the possibilities are. Because like I said, sometimes I'm like, okay, my only option is to cold call, and that's not working. So really understanding what are the other options available.

    And the other thing I found is, lately I'm better at cold calling because you force yourself to do it enough and you can build a skill and you can get over the hump at least I'm finding that.

    David: Yeah, absolutely. And when you are good at cold calling, and there are a lot of people who are very good at it, there are a lot of people who actually really like it. They don't even struggle with the call reluctance and that sort of thing, but for those who do struggle with it, I think just discussing this idea of first contact is going to be helpful.

    And if we think about why first contact is really so important, in my mind at least, it's because it really helps to set the stage for the entire relationship. Whatever it is that they're going to learn about us or think about us down the road, it's all going to come from what that first contact is.

    If it's a great experience, they're going to have good feelings about us. If it's less than a great experience, then they're not going to feel as great about it. Since it sets the tone, it's really important that people become comfortable with it, or at least come up with a form of first contact that they can be reasonably comfortable with.

    Jay: Yeah. It's such a great line of thinking.

    I hadn't really thought about it that, that first moment, maybe the first five minutes,

    David: Right.

    Jay: That could determine the whole lifespan of the relationship. How they view you. How they respond to your sales pitch. Everything.

    • 16 min
    5 Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice

    5 Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice

    Most marketing messages and business communications are bland, directionless, and dull as dishwater. They lack a clear marketing voice.

    If you're sending out emails that don't get a response or leaving voicemail messages that are largely ignored, take a look at what you're putting out. I can virtually guarantee it's missing one or more of the Five Elements of a Compelling Marketing Voice.

    If you've ever wondered what's missing from your marketing -- what causes it to be ignored rather than acted upon, It may very well be one of the 5 things we're about to discuss.

    First is a clear target: Knowing exactly who you're reaching out to and why.

    Every communication you put out should be written as if it's to one person, even if it's going out to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

    Think of one particular prospect or client you know well. Pick someone you communicate with most authentically, who could be representative of this group, and then write as if you're writing to that person. Go back over it before you send it, of course, and make sure it applies to the entire group, but if you write as if you're writing to just one person, it will be far more effective.

    This leads right into the second thing which may be missing, which is "you" centered communication.

    Have a look at the messages you're putting out -- the emails and texts you're sending. Listen to yourself as you're leaving a voicemail message and see how many of your sentences start with or contain the the word "I" vs. the word "you."

    "Hi, I was just calling because I'd like to set up a time to get together and go over some ideas I had for you."

    You may not realize it, but that simple sentence had 3 I's before it ever got to a "you."

    That ratio, 3:1, is completely off. Whenever possible, your communication should lead with them, be centered around them, and refer to them... a lot. That means using the word "you," more than "I" or "me."

    A third thing that might be missing is good, old fashioned, conversational English. Many marketers and salespeople, for some reason, slip into formal "corporate speak" the moment they start writing a letter or email.

    Dear Mr. Phillips, pursuant to our conversation of Thursday, March 1st, I herewith enclose a detailed proposal incorporating my primary, secondary and tertiary suggestions, recommendations and guidance for your impending client promotion of April 15th.

    That's one side of the coin. The other is those who are too informal. If you've ever received an email with no punctuation, no sentence structure or capitalization -- either all lower case or even worse, all upper case (which is seen by most as shouting) -- you know what I'm talking about.

    In both cases, the solution is the same: conversational English. While some clients prefer a more formal approach and some a less formal approach, you can always adapt your conversational English to their preferences without taking it to either of the two extremes we just discussed.

    Fourth is a personality or point of view. Each of us is unique, so whenever possible, it's good to convey the most positive aspects of our personality in our communication. This further humanizes our message and creates a better bond with the person who's receiving it.

    The Fifth element which may be missing is interest or passion. How can you make what you're saying as interesting as possible to the recipient?

    Are you excited or passionate about your ability to help your client?

    If so, be sure to allow some of that excitement to show through in your choice of words in a written communication and your tone of voice in spoken communication.

    This element is very compatible with the previous points,

    • 4 min
    Improve Results by Sequencing Your Communication

    Improve Results by Sequencing Your Communication

    In today's episode in our professional profile series, David Blaise and Bianca Istvan discuss business growth strategies designed to improve results, including sequencing your communication with Carlos Mestas, CEO of Thrivebox, which specializes in helping entrepreneurs establish business credit to access funding solutions, Alan Watts, known as the Love Engineer, who offers dating and relationship coaching services, and Paul Loubao, owner of PCL Housing Commerce, who focuses on investments, sales, and education in the real estate industry.

    After sharing what's working well and what's creating challenges, the focus turned to the importance of sequencing communication as part of your sales and marketing strategies.

    Reaching and impacting potential clients has evolved over the years, making it necessary to engage with prospects differently than before, using the communication channels they prefer.

    Some of the topics discussed include:

    The effectiveness of marketing strategies in connecting with the right clientele

    The importance of a multi-faceted approach, utilizing social media, face-to-face, and online networking to engage with clients

    The difficulty of gaining trust with new prospects

    Changing the mindset of people who may have previously been burned in other transactions

    We also discussed adaptation, trust-building, and proactive engagement as pivotal factors when navigating the challenges of business growth.

    Ready to Communicate More Effectively and Improve Your Sales Results?

    If so, go to TopSecrets.com/call or check out some of the other ways we can help:

    Just Getting Started? If you (or someone on your team) is just getting started in promotional products sales, learn how we can help.

    Need Clients Now? If you’re already grounded in the essentials of promotional product sales and just need to get clients now, click here.

    Want EQP/Preferential Pricing? Are you an established industry veteran doing a significant volume of sales? If so, click here to get End Quantity Pricing from many of the top supplier lines in the promo industry.

    Time to Hire Salespeople? If you want to hire others to grow your promo sales, click here.

    Ready to Dominate Your Market? If you’re serious about creating top-of-mind-awareness with the very best prospects in your market, schedule a one-on-one Strategy Session here.

    • 25 min
    How to Get Your Desired Results Fast

    How to Get Your Desired Results Fast

    Most people I know in business want to get results. But how do you get your desired results fast?

    They’re always thinking about new things, focusing on new ideas, determined to get the results they’re looking for, and sometimes it takes a lot longer than they’d like.

    When you consider the business people you know, it’s likely that some of them might have achieved amazing results since you last spoke with them, while others seem stuck or unable to move forward.

    In each of these situations, their results probably have a lot less to do with their goals, mindset, plans, or ever their determination than you might think.

    Instead, it’s largely about their speed of implementation. How quickly are they making things happen?

    Speed of implementation is about how quickly we can iterate, reiterate, try things, fail and then try more things so we can get to the actions that work.

    How fast can you get from an idea to an action to a result that can be measured? The faster we do these things, the faster we find out what works and what doesn’t.

    In a previous podcast, we talked about the three primary stages of this. Starting with the idea, moving to the action which then generates the result.

    Each time we generate a new idea, we either go through that process to take an action and get a result, or we kill it off in the idea stage. We fail to take action on it, and then our results are determined by the actions we didn’t take. The FTDs. The things we failed to do.

    Of course our speed of implementation applies to our activities, but it’s also dependent on outside factors, like the response of others.

    In sales, we can provide someone with a quote today, but we can’t control when or even if they’ll respond. But even in these cases, we’re far better off doing our part now, rather than later, because we’re getting the wheels of action in motion.

    And the sooner we take action on our ideas, the sooner we see the results of that action, so we can determine our next steps.

    Also, when I talk about speed of implementation, I’m not talking about rushing through things. Instead, I’m just talking about tightening up the time between the idea and the action. Reducing the gaps between ideas and implementation.

    And even with this, we have to be careful. I’m not suggesting we should be impulsive and just act on every idea that pops into our heads.

    Of course, we need time to evaluate those ideas, determine which are worthy of action and which aren’t, and prioritize them, so we’re acting on what we believe are the best ideas first. But very often, this can happen a lot faster than we think.

    We each have a certain tempo, a speed at which we do things.

    I grew up on the east coast of the United States. We have a bit of a reputation for speaking fast and acting fast.

    When I’m excited about an idea, I tend to speak even faster.

    It’s not always an advantage.

    So once again, I’m not suggesting we rush through things.

    We still need to take time to listen, think, and deliberate.

    But once we’ve made that decision to move forward on something, our speed of implementation will be a huge determining factor in our results.

    Sometimes procrastination plays a role, sometimes it’s fear, or dread, or indecision, and each of these things can significantly delay the amount of time it takes to get to the things we want.

    Have you ever put off doing something for a week or a month that literally ended up taking maybe 45 minutes to an hour to complete?

    Sometimes we spend more time dreading something than it takes to complete it.

    Of course, just taking action doesn’t mean we’ll get the desired res...

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Mxsandy12 ,

Amazing sales and marketing pod!

Really helpful and super interesting!

Andieisme ,

Change is good

Thank you for adding a second voice/perspective to your podcast. I love the mini q&a and that some of the questions I have are asked and answered.

fxdii ,

Great ideas

Listen and you will get some great ideas for selling promotional products. Theses short messages help me to stay on track.

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