Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Martin Stellar - Coach & Consultant for ethical sales and business growth

Sell a Cork

One of the best ways to pivot or adjust when a market changes dramatically – or, indeed, when a global ‘Aaaaaah!’ disrupts practically every industry and every economy – is to find a cork and offer it for sale.

As in: if you suddenly find that your normal buyers don’t buy the same way and at the same speed they used to: figure out what ‘leak’ they have in their ‘boat’, and find a way to plug it.

Because crisis or not, there are always ‘good to solve’ problems in the world of your buyers, but also ‘need to solve’ problems..

And at times like these, especially in B2B sales, there’s very often a ‘need to solve, right now’ problem.

Find that, build a solution, and ask if they want it.

Identify the leak they can’t plug, and offer to do it for them. Sell a cork.

I wanted to show you the system I built for that last week, but it turns out I had to redesign the system. Something that only became clear this morning, while showing the system to a rather savvy leadership coach.

I’ve spent the rest of the day redoing the system, and will proceed to recording an explainer video asap – apologies for the delay.

Meanwhile, think of these, the four core steps of the system:

1. Segment and survey:

Who’s on your list? Who has bought before? What segments do you have there?

Next, talk to people. What leak do they have going on? (google ‘customer development interviews’ for a broader look on how to survey, the way startups often do it).

2: Extract and design

Your intellectual property, that zone-of-genius work you do: get it out on paper.

Then, knock it into a package you can offer for a very specific, narrow solution, for a segment that is the most likely to need it – and want it.

3: Show up and sell

“Look, you said you needed this kind of cork. I’ve built it, it’s ready, I made this for you. Do you want it?”

4. Iterate and optimise

Look at the data: who responded? Who didn’t? Are they qualified? Why yes, or no?

What buy blockers can you exist? How can you remove them and go for more sales?

Those four steps, that’s just the very core of the system, but it goes much much deeper and I believe it’s going to make a difference.

Watch your inbox for the video I’ll be sending…

Cheers,

Martin

10 Million Voices | Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

Two things I noticed this week:

On Sunday, the world online seemed to have calmed down a little: Twitter seemed slightly quieter, and the online groups I’m in were mostly deserted.

Made me wonder if people were spending the day actually with their families. That would be a nice side effect.

The second thing, and I hope this is useful to you, was a few thought leaders in the entrepreneur space whose discourse started getting a little defeatist. Which I understand, and I don’t blame them.

But.

Everybody has a soapbox these days.

There’s 10 million voices to listen to.

And whether it’s you, or me, or another online entrepreneur:

If you, like some of those others seemed to, end up wondering ‘why bother’ or you’re feeling anxious or depressed… ask yourself who you’re listening to?

Which biases are you consuming, which narratives feed your mind and emotions, which agendas are behind those narratives, and, very importantly:

What emotional reactions and states are being triggered in you?

Because while I don’t advocate living in lala land thinking that all the wrongs in the world will right themselves automatically, I do recommend you keep your mental and emotional state optimal. Fortitude and a healthy, reasonable dose of optimism matter.

And what this outlet or that speaker, this author or that vlogger says, affects your state.

Which brings us to the 3rd thing I noticed, already last week:

I’ve been finding myself saying ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ a lot more.

Which is a bit harsh, but it’s because I feel a sense of urgency. There’s stuff to be done – for myself and my work and for my clients and my friends.

And we all have stuff to do, and nobody ain’t got time for things that take down our state, sap our strength, make us feel helpless or cause us to procrastinate.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So the voices you pay attention to: select them with care.

Observe your state, and ask yourself: which voices cause my state to lift up, and which cause negative reactions and dips?

Engage with the people in the first group, and beware of (or eliminate your intake entirely) voices in the second group.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Cheers,

Martin

10 Work From Home Tips from an ex-monk (please share – people need it)

Hey there!

Ok, so here’s the ebook I promised – 10 Work From Home tips from an ex-monk.

Click the image to view and download.

And, please share it with as many people as you like.

Working from home can be a challenge any time, but even more so now.

We all need some help & good ideas, so do please share.

Thanks!

Martin

This Is Important. For Your Health, Well-Being and for Those Around You

I normally never do this, but:

The day is wearing long, I didn’t write my daily email yet, have only just ironed out the kinks in my new IP to Profit system so I haven’t had time to create a video to show you yet, and:

… and then I find this article.

I normally never let others speak to my subscribers but this is so good, and so important, I’d like you to take a few minutes and read it. It’ll do you good, I promise.

https://www.thatseemsimportant.com/mental-health/headlines-media-panic-pandemic/

Cheers,

Martin

What’s He Building in There? (Why All This Mess Might Lead to Awesome Results)

I’ll bet the neighbours said that a lot, back when Steve Jobs was still soldering away at the first ever personal computer.

What’s he building in there…?

A few decades later, and it turns out he built the seed of something rather transformational.

In the last few days I’ve seen tweets saying that a lot of great things were built, while people were isolated from plagues. Don’t quote me as stating facts, but apparently calculus was invented, and Shakespeare did some of his best work… and I’ve seen other examples.

Again, I don’t know facts and I don’t have time to research, but:

While all this crap is happening, things are breaking and people are struggling, there’s also this:

Now that we have technology, and now that everyone is at home…

How many geniuses are out there, with technology at their fingertips, able to communicate with other geniuses…

…quietly tinkering away in their studios or garages, trying to build something that solves problems…

On a global scale, there’s a lot or them. And as the weeks and months go by, we’ll start seeing things come out into the world that could have a huge positive impact on society and even have a positive influence on the actual situation.

Just think: so many people finally free to develop and invent and test and experiment – at a time like ours…

What are they building in there?

What will be the good those things will do?

And while I know it’s my chronic optimism talking, and I’m not naïve enough to think everything will suddenly be fixed, I’m excited to see what comes out of the next few months.

Because it’s no longer about one person in a room inventing calculus, and then sending a letter by horse and ship to a university: we’re now at a time that there’s instant sharing, there’s cross-pollination of ideas, and there’s SO many more geniuses now than 200 or 500 years ago.

And, another thing I’m beginning to observe: silos are being broken. And according to the science of human networks, and observable in scientific history as well as in business and innovation, the more cross-silo interaction there is, the faster things can be developed, and the more transformative they can be.

Meaning: what with the fire that’s been lit under all of us, and all the above ideas, we’re likely to see some exponential results and changes happening.

Just as the damage we’re struggling with is exponential, so will – in my futuristic thinking – be the kind and size of innovation and problem solving.

In other words: there’s not just hope that things will get better again… you might also want to, kind of, hope that surprisingly good things will happen. There’s folks working on awesome solutions, right now. Promise. (Also: support them when you can).

Meanwhile, life goes on, and if you’re in business, so does business.

Unless it doesn’t – so many people unable to sell their product or service at the moment –  in which case I’m building something that might be helpful to you.

It’s a system for turning your own version of genius (or in a more humble way: unique ability, or your intellectual property) into an offer you can sell online, both to existing and new clients.

I hope to have a webinar ready by Friday to explain how it works, for you to implement.

I’ll also offer a guided training at an affordable fee (less than $100), and a 1 on 1 done-with-you option at a higher fee, in case you want to borrow some of my ‘unique ability’.

But if you’re hurting now and you want to see if I can help you create a new revenue centre in your business, feel free to book a short exploration call, to see what you have for people and if I can help you get it into their hands digitally.

Here’s where you can schedule a call: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=11652475&appointmentType=10482980

I’ll do my best to give you a few ideas on how to move forward on your own, or we can discuss how to work together, completely up to you…

Cheers,

Martin

And Now for Some Good News

I’m interrupting normal broadcast for different kind of message, because in the last few days I’ve been falling in love with humanity.

Normally, Twitter (I don’t spend time on other social media) is a place rife with arguments, polemics, divisiveness and ‘I’m right, and you’re not’. (some of that still goes on, but MUCH less).

But in the last few days, I’ve seen so many people do so many beautiful things, it makes my heart swell.

Some guy, saying ‘If you can’t pay the bills, send me a scan and your Venmo, and I’ll pay them.

Convertkit giving a user $500, because the user was short on money.

A startup opened up a phone service, connecting people in quarantine by phone, for free.

Companies like Zoom and HeySummit giving free access to their platform.

And… well, it’s so much, I can’t even remember all the truly awesome things people are doing for each other. Too much to mention, too much to remember.

And it’s not just on Twitter:

Here in Spain, beautiful things happen too.

Each night at 8 or so, the entire town gets out on their balconies and terraces, to applaud our healthcare workers. Just beautiful.

A guy posting a notice near the elevator of his apartment building, saying ‘if you can’t get out of the house, let me know and I’ll get you your groceries’.

Owners of shops donating facemasks and soap and gloves. And more, much much more.

I never knew I’d see it in my lifetime, but for once, it seems like humanity finally realises that we’re all in the same boat, and it’s best if we all row together.

Or maybe that’s just the treehugger in me thinking that, but: damn, folks. You all are doing wonderfully beautiful things for each other.

I love seeing that. Let’s do more of it, yeah?

Like the song says: accentuate the positive.

Be well.

Martin

2 Steps to Growing Your Business – But Hardly Anyone Implements Them

Some of my readers already know that in the last few months, I’ve been deploying a marketing system that guarantees increases in revenue of 20% or more.

It’s super effective, really reliable (actually comes with a guarantee), and really the only thing wrong with it, is that I didn’t invent it myself – I simply obtained a license to teach and implement the system for clients, because it’s one of the best systems for growth I’ve seen.

But the other day, I realised how wonderfully it dovetails with my own LEAP model for running and growing a business.

LEAP being the Listen, Explain, Ask, Profit framework I invented.

And in terms of that marketing system, here’s how it works, and the steps to implement if you want to grow your business:

Listen:

What is it it that makes people buy from you, and not someone else? What do customers opine about doing business with you? Why do they give you money?

You’ll have an idea, but until you talk to your people, and listen, you’ll be operating on assumptions and random soundbites and data points.

But once you get your buyer’s feedback, and motivation, in their own words: then you have a USP – a Unique Selling Proposition – that speaks with the voice of your best buyers, and attracts more of that kind of buyer.

Homework: survey your customers (current and past – you want to learn why people stopped doing business with you as well as why they still do)

Explain:

You take that USP – the thing that differentiates you and makes people love you – and you make it part of every piece of communication you do. If there’s a compelling reason that your market has told you is why they buy with you, state that reason.

Integrate your USP, make it part of your messaging, brand, tagline, the way you answer emails or the phone: make sure that those who deal with you are made aware of why you are you and therefore preferable over your competition.

Homework: well, that. Update your branding, your messaging, your bios on social media, your email signature, your tagline: live your key differentiator out loud. It’s why people love your work, remember?

Ask:
Here we look at your database – your past current, and future customers – and we start asking tough questions about who tends to buy what, and what kinds of offers we can make to see if people will buy something else.

Packages, special offers, add-on services or upsells: You simply ask: “I’ve got this thing here – is it something you’d want?”

When you do that, after defining your USP and making it part of your messaging, you’ll find that digging into your database and your numbers brings up all kinds of opportunities for people who love (or loved) doing business with you, to buy something again.

Homework: analyse your database, create packages and offers, and run campaigns (email, phone, social media, in-person meetings once travel is advisable again): create theories about what people might want to buy, and ask them if they want to.

Finally, profit:
This is where we create strategic alliances with businesses that serve a similar audience to yours, and we create partnerships based on cross-promotion and commission – and it only takes a few well-chosen strategic partners, for you to increase your revenue without scaling up your workload or your advertising budget.

Homework: analyse your market, identify products and services they already buy, and get in touch with people who sell them, to see if you can create partnerships.

And that, in a nutshell, is the LEAP marketing system.

Follow these steps in order, and you’ll see your revenue go up.

Or, have me implement the steps for you, and I’ll get you to at least 20% growth. Guaranteed.

Shall we talk?

Cheers,

Martin

Selling Is Not Binary

In business, your job is to help a buyer advance, get better, solve problems – your job is not to ‘close a sale’.

Sometimes people buy from you, sometimes they don’t, and that’s up to them.

It really depends on what that person needs, and wants, and the timing of your encounter. Maybe their best choice is to not buy today, but tomorrow or next week.

Because even if someone has the money to work with you, it also needs to fit into their plans and projects.

Whether you sell a product or service, in most cases a client will also need to dedicate a certain amount of time to the project – and that already starts before buying: even the decision to work with you or not requires an investment in think-time.

So if they don’t buy today, who knows what they’ll want to decide tomorrow or later down the line?

This is why selling isn’t binary. It’s not a ‘sale/no sale’ scenario, because if you see it that way you’ll shut things down if you don’t get a yes.

Instead, consider it a ‘sale/or something else’ situation, where ‘something else’ is an outcome that you both benefit from, and one that keeps you in touch.

This change in attitude does magic for the relationships and conversations you have, because it takes the pressure off the situation.

It creates encounters that leaves people feeling ‘I feel respected by you. I’m happy to talk to you again’.

Which is great, because what better person to follow up with, than someone who’s open to dealing with you again?

This kind of conversation and relationship is what I teach in my LEAP training for ethical selling.

It’s in pilot launch at the moment, and there’s still a few seats left for a live, 1 on 1, 10-week training.

Are you in?

Cheers,

Martin

Interesting vs Useful

While asking questions and listening are at the heart of ethical selling, there will come a moment, or several, where the buyer wants you to say something.

Answer a question, explain something, repeat something…

That’s a crucial moment, because the way you handle that determines whether or not your sales conversation will go smoothly, or instead you have to struggle.

Most people, when it’s their time to talk, will go for ‘interesting’, which leads to statements like ‘We’re the world’s largest blah blah’, or ‘I work with some of the most influential authors’ or, the best of the worst: ‘I was talking to Richard Branson about that yesterday’ (or insert whatever more minor celebrity that someone actually might know).

The problem is not that these statements don’t make you look interesting.

The problem is that they do.

And a buyer doesn’t give a damn about how interesting you might be.

A buyer wants to know how interested you are in them.

And not in the money they might pay you, but in the solution they’re hoping to get from you.

And for all you regular, normal, non-world’s-largest, not-connected-to-celebs business owners out there: the good news is that even if you’re as boring as a wet sheet of paper, you can still sell your stuff, and at good prices too.

How?

By being helpful, obviously. If your thing doesn’t help, people have no reason to buy it.

And if you want a buyer to understand how much you help and how useful you are, you show them.

When it’s your turn to talk, don’t start with things that make you look interesting.

Instead, say things that are useful: share insights, ask clarifying questions, suggest ideas or changes, and above all, and before anything else: make sure the buyer knows that you really get their situation.

Because it’s super useful to talk to someone who gets us: there’s no way we won’t get something useful out of the conversation.

And even if they don’t buy then, they’ll be happy you spoke, and you’ll be welcome when you reach out again.

There: an easier conversation, with better positioning, AND an open door when you follow up, just because you didn’t try to look interesting.

Ain’t that useful.

Cheers,

Martin

10 Principles for a Fun and Profitable Business

Some of these took me a long while to accept, others to discover, and some to implement.

All of it is, I guess, a work in progress – like the self, our business, and life in general.

So here’s what I learned over the years, in no particular order, to help make your business easier, more fun, and more profitable.

1: Learn how to write copy. Business will always require writing, and the sooner you get a grip on how to write tightly, in a way that’s clear and compelling, the better you’ll do. It’s an unmissable skill in business.

2: Learn how to enroll people. You can call it selling or persuasion or whatever you want, but if you have a business, you deal with people and you want people to align with your vision, right? Whether we want buyers, high-performing teams, active and responsive followers… you want to really *get* psychology in such a way that you’re able to *move people*. Because that’s what enrolling and selling are ultimately about.

3: Always stay active in growing your list. It’s the core asset of your business and you should never stop growing it.

4: Speaking of assets: your business is full of them, except we tend to overlook or discount them, especially when they aren’t tangible. A fleet of cars is an asset, but so it a list of past customers, who might buy again or introduce you to someone. More assets: your reputation, your network, the quality of your work… all assets that can be leveraged, and your life and business are full of them. Get of your assets, and put them to use for your business.

5: Never get good at the small stuff. Sure it’s great if you know how to fix the printer or design a logo – but if your money-making activity is, say, doing SEO at $100 an hour, you spending an hour fixing the printer cost you a hundred bucks. Better pay someone 25 and use your time to do work that pays.

6: Protect the owner (that would be you, operating as a business owner, instead of a business operator). Most of the time, we work *in* our business, and forget to work *on* our business. This is a massively bad idea because it keeps us stuck in the hamsterwheel of doing and making, stealing time from architecting, strategising, and planning, which is what make for business growth.

7: Values and shared values are the core of finding product-market fit – and enrolling buyers. Not everyone who shares your values will be a good client for you, but if you look at your best, most lucrative and most fun clients, you’ll likely find that those people had a lot in common with you, in terms of values. Find more of those people.

8: Keep it simple. And that’s how simple I’ll keep this point :)

9: Systemise everything. Systems aren’t boring: they are what free up your mind for creative thinking, problem-solving, and creating content that attracts people or that people will pay for. After all, these days we’re all a publishing company, whether we publish work for marketing or for getting paid.

10: Talk to your people. Video, email marketing, public talks or social media: it doesn’t matter where you do it, but you’ve got to show up. Nothing will show up (clients, opportunities, partners, etc) unless you do.

There’s a lot more that goes into a business that’s fun and profitable of course, but if you look at this list, you’ll see there’s a nice set of do’s, don’t’s, skills and attitudes in there, enough to keep you on the right track.

Cheers,

Martin

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