So many people struggle to market themselves, even when they have something valuable to offer. They often feel anxious and sometimes even guilty. Today’s guest is here to show you the secret to marketing yourself confidently and successfully.
Steve Brossman is a true innovator in sales and marketing. His Blueprint Conversion System takes the stress out of professionals selling themselves. Steve also has over 20 years of experience creating video content that builds a bridge with potential clients.
In today’s episode, Steve explains why you shouldn’t feel bad about marketing yourself. As long as you’re servicing other people’s needs for a mutually beneficial gain, it’s your duty to provide your service and get paid for it. He shares how to move from imposing your influence on a potential client to collaborating with them. Steve also offers practical tips for creating innovative videos and repackaging yourself in a way that stands out. You won’t want to miss this jam-packed episode!
In this Episode
- [00:20] – Stephan introduces Steve Brossman, the creator of Blueprint Conversion System.
- [07:36] – Steve shares how you position yourself when presenting your services.
- [11:55] – Stephan and Steve talk about the process of priming the prospect for an easier sale.
- [17:13] – How to properly conduct a call with a client to stand out.
- [22:25] – How to justify your fees.
- [27:14] – The difference between obstacles and objections.
- [32:29] – Why annotations are effective during presentations.
- [37:48] – The most important thing behind creating videos for clients.
- [42:40] – Steve shares the success story of his client that owns a childcare cleaning service.
- [46:51] – The template for creating personalized videos for clients.
- [51:50] – Why being a brown box industry has negative impressions.
- [54:13] – Visit Steve Brossman’s website and watch his videos on how to self-sell. Follow him on LinkedIn, and reach out via email to learn more about how he can help
Steve, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Stephan, it’s great to be here. You are a long-lost cousin of Steven, so it’s great to be with another variation of Steve. Mate, I am looking forward to this chat.
So many people mispronounce my name as Steven and they’re like, “This looks like Steven to me,” and I say, no, “There’s an ‘an’ instead of an ‘en’.” It’s like I’ve shown them the holy grail or something and they’ve finally figured it out.
Anyway, let’s start by talking about what it is about selling that makes people so weird? When they try to sell themselves, their services, or their company, they get all tight and nervous. They get a frog in their throat. Their voices crack. They start fidgeting. It just starts to get weird and it doesn’t have to be this way, but it seems like so many people have that problem. I used to have that problem, so what’s with human nature and being in that position that we just gravitate to that?Selling is professionally servicing other people's needs for a mutually beneficial gain. People should know that if they have a service that helps people, they should provide and get paid. Click To Tweet
I guess it’s the old school thought processes of the old school salesperson. The guy who turns up on your doorstep trying to sell the encyclopedias and the pots and the pans. It’s the pushy car salesman with the sleek back hair and the greasy mustache that’s trying to sell you a car that’s going to break down as soon as it goes around the corner.
It’s probably the 1% or the 5% of salespeople are the ones who deliver a bad experience. People want to say, I don’t want to be a salesperson because I don’t want to be like them.
I don’t want to be inauthentic. I don’t want to be too slimy and scammy or anything.
That really hurts a lot of people because a salesperson is perceived as somebody who is trying to sell you something that you don’t really want. One thing that helped me many years ago was a definition of selling that I really lived by. It helped me get over myself about selling my services. The listeners might want to pay really close attention to this. That selling is professionally servicing other people’s needs for a mutually beneficial gain, and that starts off with professionally servicing other people’s needs.
If you’re helping other people, helping them get a result, professionally servicing their needs, the mutually beneficial gain is they get a result and you get paid. That’s a great exchange. People should know that if they have a service that helps people, it’s their right, it’s their duty, it’s their obligation to provide that service or need and get paid for it.
You and I have both seen lots of things where people get it for free, they’ll do something they don’t have commitment to. The old saying of if they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention fits.
If they don’t pay, they don’t pay attention.
I love that quote, by the way. It’s so true.
If they don’t have some sort of skin in the game, then they’re not really going to invest their most precious commodity, which is time and commitment.
So many times I’ve given my several thousand dollars courses away to people—good friends or whatever—and they didn’t even crack them open. They never logged in and they didn’t have to pay a thing, so yes, they didn’t have skin in the game.
Absolutely. A lot of people, particularly the people I’m working with now, are what I call knowledge professionals. They sell their knowledge, their skills, or their expertise. Not just a box of fruits, nails, or drill bits. They sell themselves. They have a real fear when it gets to the asking for the money, the exchange, the closes, or the other sales try to call it because it’s personal.
If they say no, they say no to them. Whereas if you’re selling something in a fruit shop, well, you didn’t buy this apple, so what? It’s not a problem. But if you’re selling yourself and that’s where they start getting hot palpitations and sweaty palms like I’ve got to come to this bar where I’m going to ask for this money. Am I worth it, not is my service worth it? Am I worth it? That’s where they start falling into the trap.
How do you position yourself in a way that you’re worth so much money and yet not too much that it scares them away? I’ll take myself as an example. I charge $35,000 for an SEO audit and some people will spit out their coffee as I’m telling them that (as you’re drinking your coffee). Others will be like, okay, that’s fine, because they expect that. You’re worth it, you’ve been in this industry a long time. You’re a noted expert. You’ve got books that you’ve written or co-written, so okay, that makes sense.
If they want a cheaper option, I do have my team. We have a small agency and they can get the agency team to do the audit and I’m not doing the audit for them. That’s another option. That gives the positioning of high price high value, whereas if I came in with a lowball price, that should be a no-brainer that actually works against me in getting the sale like, okay, I’ll charge you $330 for an SEO audit, like what? Are you just pressing a button on tools and generating a report? It doesn’t sound credible then.
If you call yourself the same as everybody else in the marketplace, then you’re a brown box.
There’s something about getting the pricing and getting the positioning of that pricing right. It feels good to the recipient, to the one you’re pitching.
You’re starting at a really good spot when you start talking about positioning. The first step is how you are positioned in the market. I really do hope your listeners got some pen and paper, or at least a keypad to take this on because your perceived position predicts your profits. Now, it’s your position in the market and you may have heard me talk about this before is the Brown Box Syndrome, and that’s the start of all price comparisons.
If you call yourself an SEO guy, a digital marketer, a life coach, a business coach, or a financial planner and advisor. If you call yourself the same as everybody else in the marketplace, then you’re a brown box. There might absolutely be gold inside that box, you could be the best. But if you call yourself the same as everybody else, you’re judged, just like salespeople. You’re judged by the lowest common denominator, and if they’ve had some sort of experience with you like an insurance broker that I’ve worked with.
When you say I’m an insurance broker, they’ll run a mile because you’re going to try and sell them insurance, then you’re compared on price. The lowest common denominator is, well, if you’re a brown box, you’re a brown box, and you’re a brown box, hell, I’m just going to pick the cheapest price. Whereas let’s just say that an insurance broker wanted to help protect their loved ones, their assets, their predictables in unforeseen circumstances, so we turned him around to become a lifestyle protection specialist. That is perceived as a higher value.
A mortgage broker, we repackaged him as a property portfolio specialist. He’s helping people get more properties, and the value and the perceived value of that person started going up. Say, look, please tell me more, please unwrap the box. So I actually know the value that you’re going to provide me, not I guess the value. That’s the start of it all is your own personal positioning or your business positioning when you get out there to start the conversation.
Then it is what are they doing to get to know you? I’ve got a process where we talk about increasing the buying energy before they talk to you.
Now that might be you give them some videos. It might be give them a taste of a part of the book that they may have written. It’s increasing the excitement and the buying energy is like, wow, I’m not just talking to another brown box. I’m talking to somebody who’s written a book. They put out some videos and I’m getting more and more excited to talk to that person. Then the last bit works beautifully. Before they actually get on a call to talk to you, there’s a personal video that we teach people how to use.
It’s like, “Hey, Stephan. I really can’t wait to have a conversation with you. I had a look at your website. I had a look at this. I’ve got some fantastic ideas I’m looking forward to sharing with you. See you Thursday at 3 PM.” Now, that is going to increase the excitement level beyond just me knowing that you do a $330 SEO service. It’s like this person is innovative, this person is a true leader. I’m expecting to pay a lot more when I work with that person. It’s the process leading up to the call. That is very important, crucial before you actually get on the call. Then the actual conversation isn’t anywhere near as hard.
That’s great. That reminds me of somebody who’s been on the podcast here a while ago, Jon Schumacher. His strategy as part of his application funnel process is to get the prospect to Netflix, binge watch essentially the trainings, the information videos that will help that person move closer to the desired end state but also to becoming a client.
Getting that prospect to do some Netflix-ing beforehand makes the sale so much easier. It’s like they’re primed, ready to sign when they show up because they’ve already invested all this time. They’ve already gotten all this evidence of mastery of expertise and social proof seated throughout the videos. I really like that strategy. Have you heard of that before?
And it’s very similar to the process that we go through. A lot of the salespeople say that, okay, pick somebody out, qualify them. Now, qualifying is I think you are somebody that I can sell to. What that exact other process is what we teach—cultivate. Don’t qualify, cultivate. Give them some watering, give them some fertilizer, but also give them some pruning. Now, if you tell me to watch no X number of hours of Netflix, I may or may not do it. If I don’t do it and I walk away.Know the value you can provide to people. Perceived position predicts your profits. Click To Tweet
Not Netflix but videos of my own training or whatever, but yes.
If I don’t do it, then I’m self-selecting saying, I don’t think you’re worth me investing the time to watch it, therefore, I’m not going to get on a call. Therefore, we don’t have to talk to people that are not excited to work with us. That’s a great way of starting a conversation. I do exactly the same thing, but nowhere near to the level of that. They’ve got some videos to watch. They’ve got part of my books to read. It’s only 40 minutes here and now 10 minutes here, but they self-select.
Part of growing a great plant is pruning. Now, if they get into the first video and they think this Steve Brossman is an absolute idiot, they go to wait. If they keep going and they get to the point of getting on the call, they know who I am, what I do, who I serve, and have a reasonable understanding of the price range that we’re going to be talking about, they’re people that I’m excited to talk to because they’re excited to talk to me.
Just to let you know how this works. One person yesterday went through and I’ve got what I call a 36-minute LinkedIn sales funnel. It actually took 38 minutes. Somebody connected with me 24 hours ago. I sent them a message back, great to connect with you. Tell me more about what you do. Here’s a quick video to say hi. I’d love to hear more about what you do, see how we can help each other, and by the way, here’s one of my back pocket guides as a gift to get started.
He digested that, shortly after he typed back and said, “Hey, listen, this is what I’m doing, Steve. By the way, do you think what you do could help me?“ I was like, “That’s a lovely question that you’d love to hear.” I just typed in, “I need to know a little bit more about what you do.” “I help other people just like you. Why don’t we have a quick chat?” Ten minutes later, the booking was in. Ten minutes after that, I sent him the personal video because I had a look at the website and everything. We had a conversation yesterday, which actually took 35 minutes and he’s a client.
Because the buying energy and the collaboration of how we were going to provide value, not me selling to him, was there. We can talk about the sales conversation in a minute, but in that whole process, people think the selling is only on the call. If you’re going through the traditional way, you’re positioned as a brown box, there’s not a lot of buying energy there is there? You’re the same as everybody else. I’m probably going to have a chat with you, I’m going to have a chat with the next one, and I’m going to have a chat with the next one. I’m not that excited to talk to you.
You’ve got to resurrect them before you start creating the connection.
All you’re doing in the background is qualifying me, that doesn’t excite me as a buyer at all. Then one of the worst things, we’re going to have a discussion about this is they booked them in for the dreaded discovery call or the strategy call. Now, every profession, every man and his dog is being told, you’ve got to get them on a discovery call, but we all know that that is a sales call.
They’re going to get on, they got to have a chat, they got to ask you some questions, they’re going to sell the hell out of you. That reduces buying energy because they’re sitting there on their hands with their credit card in the other room so they don’t buy anything. You’ve got to resurrect them before you actually start creating the connection and then communicating the value. Booking them in for that sales call whereas we booked them in and we teach our people is a perceived high-value call.
Now, I’m going to give you the titles of a couple of hours if we’re working in one direction and we’re booking them in for an authority unpack. Let’s unpack your authority positioning and how you’re seen in the market. Another one is a prominence and persuasion review, how you are standing out in the market. What is your sales process?
I had one booking yesterday. I can’t wait for this, so you can tell me this, this, and this. They were excited about the value that we’re going to get from the call, which was a sales call and it actually worked because they’re excited to talk to you. That really breaks down the barrier of those first few minutes and it makes it a very good place to start.
That’s great. I love that. So instead of a discovery call or strategy call, it’s an authority unpack or prominence and persuasion review. It makes the sales call not feel like a sales call at the beginning. You’ve presuaded them towards being more open and receptive to whatever you’re advising them. It makes total sense, and yet how many people are doing that compared to the standard approach of the strategy call? Everybody’s doing the strategy call like you said.
When you do the same as everybody else, you’re really going to get some fairly poor results. Back in the days when it was new, I was like wow, I can’t wait to get a strategy from this person and I wonder what the discovery is. Well, I really know where I am. I’m not lost. It’s something that now everybody’s doing. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the actual process, but when you put that sales call, attached to it virtually, then it’s the resistance that you get straight away.
One of the things that I’ve been doing a lot of work with some fantastic people in cognitive neuroscience is I’ve designed and categorized three different levels of persuasion influence. Now, the first level is imposed influence. That’s when you’re putting out a lot of information, you’re getting on the call, and I’m giving you all of this information. Sure, I’ll ask you the questions of what are your pains, what do you need right now, and what’s stopping you from going forward, which are generally the typical questions to get started.
Then I’m going to impose my influence on you by, here is why I’m good and how I can fix them. It’s giving you all of this information. That’s the lowest level of influence. I’m imposing my influence on you.
The next level is collaborative. When you’re working together on a common goal or agreed outcomes, that person has an investment in those outcomes. My saying in this is when they’re involved, they invest and that really makes a big difference. We spoke earlier about the blueprint conversion system. We design a blueprint, which is a collaborative piece of information. It’s a schematic of their particular unique system and how the outcomes. It’s a piece of paper to draw on and collaborate on.
I’ve got this other saying that what’s the best way to get people on the same page as you? What’s the best way to get people on the same page as you?
Make it seem like it’s their idea?
Sorry, it was a trick question. Have a page to get on. Most of mine now—because of what we’re doing, Zoom, Skype, and everything—are on the screen. We’re collaborating on the same page. I’ve got my little drawing tool and I’m annotating and we’ll get to a certain point on the blueprint where we know that they may have an issue. Together we’ll talk about a solution, but most importantly, will quantify that.
They make an informed decision that they have to work with you because the values are shown in front.
If we did this in your business on a monthly basis, what would that mean to you in income? I might say, X thousand dollars a month? Great. What about some time-saving? Yes, well, that’s going to save me X hours per month. And how’s that going to make you feel? Well, that’s going to make me feel less stressed, et cetera. Those values are written on the blueprint. As we’re going around the blueprint, I call them value pitstops where we collaborate and we agree on an outcome.
As you’re going around, those valued outcomes are adding up and they’re adding up. You get to a point where they’re adding them up in their brain. We’re going to do X thousand here, save this time and less stress than X thousand here. They can’t possibly charge me more than that. I’ll get to the point. This exact same thing happened yesterday.
At 25 minutes into our conversation, we worked around the blueprint. He’s like, “Steve, this looks awesome. What are the next steps and how do we get started?” I can pretty well guarantee that most people out there would love to hear that instead of getting the sweaty palms and the heart palpitations and say, well, how do I get the next bit? And I start telling them what I do and how do I sell. They’re asking you and that’s the highest level of influence, that’s self-influence.
They have taken ownership of asking for the next steps on how we work together. You go from imposed, collaborative, and then self. That’s where I’ve written the Backpocket Guide to Self Selling Secrets. That is self-selling at its best. They make an informed decision that they just have to work with you because the values are shown in front.
You said to me right back at the beginning, how do you justify your fees? Well, basically, you take it out of the profits that you’ve just put in their pocket. If I’m going to help somebody put an extra $50,000 a month in their pocket, all I really have to be is under $49,999 and they’re making a profit. I’d love my fees to be that, but anyhow.
Then it’s like, well, this is awesome. By the look at it, if we put this system into your business, we’re going to… and then quantify all the values that you’re going to deliver them. Does that make sense we actually get started sooner rather than later? That is the highest level of pushy close that you actually have to do when you use the blueprint system is, hey, it’s here in front, does it make sense? Or could you do without that $50,000 a month in your pocket?If you're a brown box in your industry, you're being perceived as somebody that's lazy and doesn't care enough to put a good wrapping around it. Click To Tweet
So there’s some explicit. Leading them to come to some point where they’re doing the math in their head and that’s implicit. Then they’re realizing that, wow, I’ll be a mug to not do this.
Yes. Let’s go back to the old-school selling, which is basically here’s a whole list of things of why I’m good. Potentially, in a competitive market, here’s why I’m better than everybody else. Here’s why you should pick me. It’s just that imposing influence and you’re getting overwhelmed. It’s like, well, buy now. Whereas when you’re collaborating on it, they’re taking those next steps themselves and it makes a massive difference in the energy.
They’re excited to say, well listen, if I work with you, all of this stuff on your sheet of paper, and when you’re annotating and the neuroscience behind annotation is, you could be using exactly the same blueprint. You could be using exactly the same presentation. But the minute you start writing on it, it seems personal to them, it’s theirs. You could use it a thousand times, but the minute you write on it, their engagement goes up 80%. The retention factor of the information goes up 80%, and action at the end of it goes up five times, 500%.
You stood out as a presenter when I saw you speak at a METAL meeting recently. You’re one of the only people I can recall that wrote on their slides as they were being displayed. That’s really innovative.
Yeah, and I’ve been doing it and teaching it for quite some time. I was on a (call me a very sad puppy) 6 AM one Saturday morning here in Australia on a cognitive neuroscience webinar thinking how long am I going to stay here? But I got to the end of the hour and a half and hit the replay button and watched it all again.
One of the key things was the neuroscience behind what they called annotation, writing, and I thought that is why it works is because that slide could be used a thousand times. But the minute you write on it, it creates the bridge between you and that person, and it elevates it to collaboration, not imposing the influence.
The minute you’re annotating, you draw that person in, and they’re involved in the actual process.
Instead of me, here’s a slide and he has lots of information that you have to take in. The minute you’ve got movement as a primate, the movement draws our eyes to it. The minute there’s movement around, we turn our head towards that movement, which is why videos work. We turn our heads towards it. Is it fight or flight? We’ve been built that since we were cavemen. Something moves, do we kill it, or do we run from it?
The minute you’re annotating, you draw that person in and they’re involved in the actual process. You’re taking them down that journey. It’s sitting beside them even if it might be screen to screen. You’re sitting beside them with your arm on their shoulders. Together we are creating something for you. The great thing is when you get to the end of that, does it make sense? You go back, by the looks of it, Stephan, if we put this system into your business, we’re going to generate this, this, this, and save this. You’re going to be less stressed. You’re going to get home for dinner every night time to spend with your kids. Does it make sense we get started sooner rather than later?
The minute they say yes to that, objections go out the window because an objection is an opportunity to say no. The only thing you have then is an obstacle. If money could be an issue, you just continue the collaboration. It’s not overcoming objections like the pushy sales trainers—I’m going to help you overcome objections. Well, the minute they say, yeah, it makes sense, then you just keep collaborating and there are no more objections, they’re just obstacles. And that’s a big difference working with somebody towards the solution instead of fighting with them to overcome the objection.
That is a really crucial point. I hadn’t made that distinction before. Objections, of course, I’ve always thought of those as part of the sales process and overcoming them, even pre-empting them. But obstacles being separate and different from objections. Once you clear the objections because, in their mind, they’re like, yes, I need this and I do want it, then it’s just a matter of getting the right attributes or details in place. That’s really cool.
So a couple of points on this. Is there a tool that you use specifically to do the annotation, or is it just a built-in feature in Zoom where you can instead of sharing your screen you’re sharing a whiteboard? Are you using an iPad or something that kind of makes this a little more spiffy?
I’m a very low-tech person. I found the easiest way. I’m not a Mac at all and I’ve got a lot of great colleagues who use Mac to draw and to write. So, if you’re a Mac person, then attach an iPad. You can do it wirelessly, you can do it with the cable. I’m just simple. I use PowerPoint and then I plug in just one of the traditional graphic scratch pads. So, I’ve got a pen, a scratch pad, and I can write on PowerPoint.
I use it with my coaching clients because as we’re going through, we’re drawing, we’re annotating on their blueprints, or whatever we’re working on. And as a coach, I can do all of that, they get the recording, plus they get whatever we drew and mapped out. It’s a great tool. It’s a great way to work with people and elevate the value that you’re providing them. It’s been a game-changer that I started using about 4 or 5 years ago to be able to annotate draw on the actual screen. Now I know the neuroscience behind it, it’s just even more powerful that I make sure that all of my people know how to do it.
That’s very cool. There’s even some tech that allows you to use a pen and paper-like if you have a notepad or something or you got butcher paper and a marker. You can hold the iPhone and use that as the display over your desk. I forget the name of it, but there’s a device like that.
There’s a thing called Stream Deck where you can have multi-cameras. You can have the one facing you, you’re going to have a short one to the side, you can have one over the top where you’re actually writing on it, and you can just put each button that you want at any particular time. I was going to get my son to set it all up.
He said, “Dad, you’re not using it. I’m going to use it for my gaming, streaming, et cetera.” He’s got it all set up and he pushes each of the buttons. I said, “Yeah, that’s really actually what I wanted, but I’m just going to stick with my scratchpad and share screen and I can live with that.”
Okay. So you’ve used this approach of annotating with presentations to audiences for non-sales educational conference sessions and things like that, correct?
That’s the power of doing a video or a video email that people remember.
And you used this, of course, in sales presentations with individuals or small groups. Presumably, you would use this also in delivering presentations to your clients. So you’re going to deliver a document, some sort of report, analysis and audit, or whatever, and it seems like going through the process of annotating that document would make this look even more interactive and engaging for the client.
Yeah, and the thing is because we are distanced, instead of sitting down beside somebody and actually scribbling on this piece of paper beside them or putting a highlight across it. You actually do it remotely, whether it’s one person or whether it’s a hundred there. It could be a Word document with a lot of words on the screen. If you want to highlight something you could circle it. It’s just so much more freedom to be able to do that because it actually draws the eyes to that specific point that you want them to focus on at any particular time.
The science is that the minute you start using it, engagement and retention go up 80%. That’s phenomenal if you’ve got people in a room for any length of time to keep them focusing on the pieces that you want them to focus on. It does make a difference. You were talking about the presentation I did a few weeks ago as being innovative. The interesting thing about when you start using new innovation, it is perceived that you’re innovative across the rest of what you do.
I had one of our clients 13 years ago when we started teaching video marketing, it was way back when it was just starting to come out. She was a recruitment officer or they had a recruitment company in our capital city, Canberra, when they had 135 recruitment agencies because it was a big government city. I was struggling to stand up.
But they started using videos and using them in a very simple way, which was the about us videos. They were innovative. One of their team sang who he was. The owner of the company was only I think 4’10” but loves basketball. The opening shot was her playing basketball with a 6′ something African American basketballer, which is a massive disparity. She said, “Hey, it’s me, CEO of this, this, and this. Here’s a little bit about me.” They just did a couple of other interviews with different people.
That made them stand out and everybody said, wow, you are so innovative. That had nothing to do with their business process, but it shot them up the list. So the minute you start doing something that is different and innovative, it’s perceived that it is right across the board and everybody wants to talk to you and say, what else do you do? It really makes a difference.
It’s funny enough that it just jogged my memory. My first book was called, Stand Up, Stand Out or Stand Aside. In my Aussie slang, I was nearly going to call a “Be different or bugger off,” but my wife is an Amazon Guru and she basically said, “No, you can’t do that.” But that’s the thing, stand up and stand out or get out of the road. If you’re a brown box, just suck it up because you’re going to be sitting on the shelf pretty well competing on price.
One of the ways that you innovate and stand apart from others in your field is through those personal videos. Not that many people are doing that. Are those videos done using Bonjoro, Loom, or something else? By the way, I had Matt Barnett, the founder of Bonjoro on this podcast, maybe a year, a year and a half ago. That was a great episode. We deep-dived into this whole topic.
But I’m curious, what makes your videos either personal videos, really stand apart from everybody else’s who are doing personal videos? Because there aren’t that many. That already is a nice differentiator. I’m sure you’re doing something that makes your video even more remarkable.
The interesting thing is, I’ve been doing personal videos since way before phones could even do a video. It was just after the camera, the digital camera could actually do videos within the camera itself. So, we were excited when the camera went from one megapixel to two megapixels. Wow, that was exciting. You would actually attach a video to an email back in the old dial-up days of dial-up internet and you can actually watch it go tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, the video is uploading.
I remember the power of one video that I did to a company and the guy in the company and we were going to implement them using exactly the same. He looked at the videos and said, “I get it, I understand it. You’ve got the gear, we’re going to do it.” But 10 years later, he has moved to different companies and is in a sales role. He connected with me and said, “Steve, I still remember that first video. This company needs to do that now. Are you still working with people to do it?”
That’s the power of doing a video or a video email that people remember. And yes, I do now use Bonjoro. But that’s the third platform that I’ve used and we used one of the earliest ones that are no longer around called Jive and then went to another one. The power of that is absolutely phenomenal.
I met a guy who I was introduced to. I sent him a video email, saying, we’re looking forward to meeting you, looking forward to finding out what we can do with your company, et cetera. Now, we went to a networking event that he was at and he introduced me to five separate people saying, “Hey, this is the guy whose video that I sent you that I showed you. This is the guy who sent me that video that I was like, ‘Well, it’s a very powerful tool to stand out.’”
But the most important thing is not to get on there and connect and deliver who you are, what you’re going to do. The power behind it—and actually the same company did a webinar on the neuroscience of video emails three weeks ago—is the connection with them and how to stimulate the right (what we call) the happy hormones—serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. You might think, aren’t you just doing a video?
Get that personality through the camera.
Yes, but if you can stimulate those happy hormones and say, wow, I want to spend more time with that person. The video was not to really blurt out why you’re good and what you’re going to do, but it’s to get that human-to-human connection, to get that feel through the cameras. This is a person that I want to spend more time with. By the way, they sound intelligent. Otherwise, you’re getting that really boring. It’s like yeah, okay, I’ll put up with this person.
So it’s to get that personality through the camera. I guess that’s one of the things. I’ve had 20 years and I will let you know that a lot of it was on kids’ TV. So I had to be fairly personal through those black holes called the camera and learn to engage particularly kids because they’re a tough market and to get the connection through the camera to that one person on the other side is something that’s very powerful. If you can do that through a quick video and have that person say, wow, I want to spend more time with that person. I can’t wait. Then that’s powerful.
So it’s like the concept of Pre-suasion, which I learned from Robert Cialdini, who is a guest on this podcast. Incidentally, he’s amazing. The concept of Pre-suasion is getting the subtle cues seated or placed in a way that the subconscious mind picks it up and it makes you more receptive to the opportunity.
An example of that is if you’re trying to sell mattresses, there’s an ad that person is responding to, and the background has fluffy clouds and things that make the person think of being sound asleep. That will get in their subconscious and they’ll think this is a comfortable mattress for a good night’s sleep. If you put dollar signs or cash raining down as the background, then they think. oh, this is going to help me be more successful and make more money getting a good night’s sleep on this mattress.
So, you could use that personal video that you shoot with Bonjoro or whatever to do Pre-suasion as well before you get on the sales call.
Yeah, the big thing that we talk about is creating a great relationship with the person before you even get to meet them. Let’s just say that you’re in a wonderful relationship with somebody, things are going okay. It’s probably unlikely that you’re going to go to that person, partner and say, “Honey, you know what? We’ve got a good relationship, but I feel like I’m going to go and spend time with the person down the road who I really don’t know, who I really haven’t met, but I just know where they live and what they do.”
That’s what we want to do. We want to create a relationship where it’s harder to break than to start. It’s easier to continue than to say, “Well, I’m going to go and dump you for somebody who I don’t know anything about. They have not reached out and connected with me, but I’m going to give them a go just because they’re there.” We want to make the process harder for them to get out of a perceived relationship that they feel as if they’ve got a relationship.
Potentially you watch the soap or let’s go back to Netflix. Now you’re binge-watching and you form a relationship with somebody even if it’s in a short movie or a sitcom. You form a relationship with the videos because they’re showing their personality and you’re getting emotively involved.
Even within the sequence that we show through, they’ve reached out somehow. Then you’ve got a video, and then you read a little bit more about them. Then you’ve made a conscious decision to go to the next level, watch the next video, or then you’ve made a conscious decision to book in that call. You’re enhancing the relationship all along the way and then you get on the call. I’ve had so many people say, “Steve, I feel as if I know you already. I’ve watched your videos.“
One of the guys that did one of our earliest ever video marketing courses and we taught him to send out the videos. He was doing childcare cleaning. He said, “The day after your workshop, I sent the video out. The following day, I went to meet with the owner of the childcare who walked out of the place, met him in the car park and said, “Hey, William, how are you? Great to meet you.’ He said that’s the first time anybody’s ever done that. He said it felt like we had that relationship before we even met.” That’s one of the biggest things that you can do.People think the selling is only on the call. If you're going through the traditional way, you're positioned as a brown box, and you're the same as everybody else. Click To Tweet
The other sneaky little thing that I’ve done and Bonjoro is a great tool. I should put an affiliate link in there. Matt has done a wonderful job. I was one of their earliest adopters, and they’ve got a great platform. I really do admire what they have done with Bonjoro. But you can have your branded background and all sorts of things there. I’ve got my branded background, and fortunately, I had a week on Necker Island with Richard Branson. We had a lot of just fun, personal photos, not the staged one where you pay that VIP upgrade at an event. That’s in the background there. So that’s another positioning tool.
Positioning is very powerful. So, if you’ve got your branded background, you’re connecting with people, and they see that you’re hanging out with some cool people. It’s like, this might be somebody I want to talk to. It’s a much, much better way of starting that conversation than getting on a discovery call that you know you’re going to be sold to. It’s like, well, let’s have a chat with this person because I feel good about getting on that call. That’s the biggest thing.
Is there a particular sequence in terms of when that personal video goes out versus the back pocket guide and whatever else? Does it matter, or can it be sent in any order?
To me, it should be run about a day before you have that call. So, everything is leading up to it. It may not be a short sequence. It may be a sequence that takes people a few weeks or months to get through until they finally say, yeah, I’m now ready. Once they take that next step to say, yes, I’m ready and I’ve booked in the call, then they get that video email.
Now, it could be personalized, or if you’ve got a lot booking in, it could be relatively generic. But you can do a generic and say, “Hey, Steve here. I’m really excited about you booking in for your call.” All of that happens within three seconds. It’s like, what? They don’t realize that I haven’t mentioned your name, and you could personalize that. “I really can’t wait to getting on a call, finding out more about you.” You personalize it, you look down the lens, you’re connecting with the person through the lens one on one, and they still feel as if it’s to them. So you really want to heighten the anticipation.
You’re enhancing the relationship all along the way, and then you get on the call.
I did one free call where I just couldn’t fit them in for about three or four days and they complained. Is that the earliest you can get me in? The interesting thing is since I’ve been using personalized video emails for people, I’ve missed only one person who has not turned up in seven years.
Now, if you’re a person who values your time, you don’t want to be sitting around and people just not turning up. That happens over and over again. I’m in different groups and they say, “How do you get people to turn up to your calls?” I don’t have a problem. First and foremost, you don’t call them a discovery call, that would be the first thing. But you sequence and you increase the buying energy, that engagement factor, and they just want to get on that call with you.
Do you have an example of a video you could share that’s maybe a great template for them to use? It could be someone who gives you permission to use it or you just make a pretend one.
It is very, very simple. It is so simple. If you want to do the personalized one and you’ve seen one, it’s, “Hey, Stephan. Steve here. I’ve just seen you booked in for our call on” (whatever time, day). “I am really looking forward to it. By the way, I’ve had a quick look at your website and I’ve had a quick look at your LinkedIn profile. I have got some great ideas that I can’t wait to share with you. If you’ve got any questions, please feel free to reach out, but I look forward to seeing you on Thursday at 3 PM. Cheers, Steve.”You could use a presentation a thousand times, but the minute you write on it, the retention factor of the information goes up 80%, and action at the end of it goes up 500%. Click To Tweet
That’s 20 seconds, that’s trialed. It is my number one script. Would you be excited to get on a call with somebody that you know that’s taken the time out, they’ve got some information. If all you do is turn up and get that information and pick my brain. Then it’s going to be a valuable call. The fact that I’ve actually taken time to have a look and shoot you a video, would you want to work with somebody who does all of that? Which takes me four minutes, five minutes if I hang around their website because I can normally pick up some cool things.
So, if it was somebody like you and you’re doing the same sort of thing as, “Hey, Steve. I saw you book in for a call. By the way, I’ve had a quick look at your website and a few other things that are going around. There are about three things that we could go over that I know are going to really help you with your SEO and attract more people to your website. I’ll share them with you and I look forward to catching up with you on Friday, 2 PM.” Done.
Now, it’s personalized enough that you give them some anticipation of some value that they’re going to get from that call. Then the next thing is the ice is broken. You don’t have to introduce yourself. They know what you look like, they know what you sound like. They’ve got some sort of a short personal relationship with you. The first 15, 20 minutes where the sales coaches say, you build rapport here, talk about your mother’s ducks, and somebody else that we know, that’s all done.
Positioning is very powerful.
You can go straight in. That’s why that call is only half an hour long because the fluff is out of the road. You can spend the first five minutes creating what’s next and then building into it. And because people are working through a visual document—the blueprint—and they’re collaborating, the power of what is going on is amazing because it’s visual. There is no way that I could ever do an audio sales call. It’s interactive and we’re working on things together.
If they walk away, on the rare occasions that they walk away and say, “Thanks very much, this is great information, I’ll go.” It’s because I haven’t done my job properly but they’ve got good information. Its value to them, and providing value is something that we aspire to for our people.
You called the guide that you sent a back pocket guide. It’s not an ebook, it’s not a checklist, worksheet, or downloadable PDF, but it is a back pocket guide. Why that terminology and what’s special about that?
Because it’s not perceived as an ebook. Because these days, ebooks are throwaway pieces of crap just to get your email address. It could be brilliant information, but the perception is an ebook is just stuff that you’re going to give me to get my email address.
It’s a brown box.
You don’t have to introduce yourself. They know what you look and sound like. They’ve got some sort of a short personal relationship with you.
It’s a brown box. The back pocket has been carefully selected because the science behind it is a back pocket guide. It’s small enough and convenient enough to throw in your back pocket. Stephan, it’s a PDF. For God’s sake, it’s a PDF, it’s an ebook, it’s all of those things. But no, it’s not. It’s a back pocket guide. And the perceived uniqueness of that is different because I spent the time wrapping it up in the back pocket guide.
Let’s quickly go through the science behind not being a brown box. It’s Christmas morning, all the bright presents are under the tree and there’s one brown box. Which is the last present to get opened? The brown box.
We know boring stuff comes around the brown box. So we’re anticipating that nothing special is in this brown box. But the other thing that a lot of people don’t realize is we’re perceiving that the person didn’t value what’s in the brown box enough to spend the time wrapping it. So if you’re a brown box in your industry, you’re being perceived as somebody that’s lazy enough and doesn’t care enough about you, yourself, or your business enough to put a good wrapping around it.
Now, I spent time trying to work out a really good wrapping to put around a short book because I’ve got nine bestsellers—five of my own, four collaborative. I don’t want to write a big book anymore, and most people don’t want to read a big book. But I didn’t want to have a short ebook and I didn’t want it perceived as a PDF. So I wrapped it around and I now write back pocket guides.
I got the Backpocket Guide to Your Personal Enterprise, the Backpocket Guide to Self-Selling Secrets. It’s my sequence of 40-minute reads that have videos in them. They’re almost like a workshop in a book. But as you said, it’s the wrapping around it that is perceived to be different than an ebook, a PDF, or whatever. It’s perceived as high value.
Speaking of which, you are going to offer our listeners/viewers a free copy of the Backpocket Guide to Self-Selling Secrets.
We know boring stuff comes around the brown box.
They certainly can. As I just said, it’s virtually a workshop in a book. There’s a couple of videos in there that have got all the training in. It’s just very simple stevebrossman.com/selfsell. Jump in, watch it, read it, but most importantly, implement it.
There’s going to be some gold nuggets in there that you could just implement one or two of them that I know are going to make a difference. There’s obviously going to be a link in there if you want to reach out and grab a prominence and persuasion review. Be my guest, it would be my honor to be able to help some of your people.
Awesome. Fabulous. Well, thank you so much, Steve. If our listeners want to work with you, where should they go directly to sign up and start the process? Maybe go through your courses, get coaching from, you et cetera?
Well, the easiest way is obviously getting the back pocket guide because that’s going to give you some great information. There’s going to be a link in there to connect with me. LinkedIn is a great place as well. But I’m one of these pretty old-fashioned guys that if you want to talk to me, just reach out and email me at [email protected]. I’ll personally answer every one of those. Even if you’ve just got some questions that you want to ask or reach out and say, hey, Steve, how could you help me? Just email me, that’s always the easiest. I don’t want to put you through a tacky funnel, just human-to-human come and grab me.
Human-to-human. All right, awesome. Well, thank you so much, Steve. Thank you, listeners. Implement some of the stuff so that you can take your business to the next level. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.
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Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Understand sales. Going back to its definition helps me grasp what it truly means to sell. In return, I can better position and market my services.
Watch Steve’s video about Brown Box Syndrome. Take notes and internalize the tips he shares in the video, and avoid becoming a brown box.
Build anticipation with prospects. The period before any call is crucial. Increase excitement and be personal when reaching out to potential customers.
Know my potential clients. When receiving appointments, do a quick background check to have an idea of how to help them. This information helps personalize my videos.
Personalize my videos. Use my research to customize the content I send to clients. Getting on a personal level helps them warm up and become interested.
Be collaborative. It makes a huge difference when I involve prospects in creating blueprints and goals. The more hands-on they get, the more invested they become.
Use annotations. Movement engages viewers and retains their attention. Create presentations that can be easily annotated.
Keep innovating. Explore ways to hold my viewers’ attention during calls. I become memorable when I think outside the box for marketing myself.
Stimulate happy hormones. When creating and sending videos, make sure to keep them light and refreshing. Make my prospects look forward to having a call with me.
Visit Steve Brossman’s website and watch his videos on how to self-sell. Follow him on LinkedIn, and reach out via email to learn more about how he can help.
About Steve Brossman
Steve is a true innovator in sales and marketing and his Blueprint Conversion System has been hailed as one of the real breakthroughs in selling taking the stress out of professionals selling themselves. With over 20 years in TV and videos his interviews are always lively and informative.
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