In this episode of the Your Digital Marketing Coach podcast, I interview Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, about implementing a sales-focused marketing strategy.
We discuss the science behind the convergence of sales and marketing and provide real step-by-step advice for success.
Chris emphasizes the importance of having a well-organized website and landing pages, lead follow-up, and inside sales.
He also stresses the significance of technology in scaling marketing strategies and encourages executives to support their employees in conducting experiments and taking risks.
- Curaytor: https://www.curaytor.com/
- The Conversion Code Website: https://www.theconversioncode.com/
- The Conversion Code: Stop Chasing Leads and Start Attracting Clients by Chris Smith: https://amzn.to/41yuTyy (affiliate)
- Chris on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chris_smth/
*Chris Smith's Background [00:04:30]*
Chris Smith talks about his background in sales and marketing, starting in the boiler room doing phone sales for telemarketing companies.
*The Early Days of Social Media [00:08:38]*
Chris Smith talks about how he became influential in the real estate industry through social media and how the Wall Street Journal offered him $5000 a month to advertise on his blog.
*The Importance of Listening in Content Marketing [00:09:37]*
I discuss with Chris Smith the importance of listening more than speaking in content marketing and he shares a story about how asking questions can lead to success.
*The Importance of Digital Marketing Fundamentals [00:16:25]*
Chris Smith and I discuss the importance of having digital marketing fundamentals in place before implementing more advanced strategies, and how many companies still struggle with the basics.
*The Importance of Website and Sales Process [00:16:44]*
Chris Smith emphasizes the importance of having a clean website and a well-structured sales process before investing in marketing.
*The Science of Marketing and Sales [00:18:03]*
Chris Smith talks about his personal approach to marketing and sales, which involves experimenting and testing different strategies to see what works.
*Challenges of Large Companies [00:23:33]*
Chris Smith and I discuss the challenges that large companies face when it comes to implementing new marketing and sales strategies, and the importance of having a supportive executive team.
*Lead Follow Up [00:25:06]*
Chris Smith discusses the importance of lead follow up and shares tips on how to improve lead conversion rates, including speed to lead and personalization.
*Inside Sales [00:29:58]*
Chris Smith defines inside sales as a call center that focuses on outbound calling to inbound leads and shares how it differs from outside sales. He also emphasizes the importance of scripts, questions, and tone in inside sales.
*Importance of Lead Conversion [00:29:33]*
Chris Smith shares a quick stat that 95% o
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Stop chasing leads and start attracting clients. You've heard this a manager before, but how exactly do you go about implementing a sales focused marketing strategy? Well, that's going to be the topic of this next conversation. In the next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing, who there's a lot to cover, whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got, Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody. Konichiwa this is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer just back from Japan. So you have to excuse the Japanese there had an awesome time, as always, really, really quick trip. But you know, whenever you go overseas, you go out of your environment, you're able to better understand yourself, your society, your work just everything a lot clearer. So I always come back with a lot of clarity, and a lot of drive. And well, that's a great lead into today's discussion. It's an interview with Chris Smith, who is author of the best selling book, The conversion code. Chris is a fellow University educator, his book is being used as part of the curriculum at Johns Hopkins University, even featured at New York University. So today, Chris, and I talk about, really the science behind this convergence of sales and marketing. And he provides a lot of real step by step advice that I think you're gonna find invaluable. Now, Chris has a background from the real estate industry, I have also worked with real real estate companies, realtors, and I am very, very fond of that industry and have the potential that not only that industry has to better leverage digital and social media marketing, but also from what other marketers can learn from the relationship focused approach that Realtors must have in order to be successful. So no matter what industry you're in, I think you're gonna get a lot out of today's interview. So without further ado, here he is, Mr. Chris Smith, author of the best selling book, that conversion code, you're listening to your digital marketing coach, this is Neal Schaffer. Chris, welcome to the digital marketing coach podcast, my friend. Hey, Neil,Chris Smith:
pumped to be here.Neal Schaffer:
You know, I often have difficulties pronouncing guest names. But Chris Smith is not a name. I'm going to go wrong with hopefully.Chris Smith:
Yeah, that was easier than dial. What was your last guest name? I mentoredNeal Schaffer:
mentor dial. And I literally had to ask him like, what's the story behind your that? No, no, it's it's an actual last name. SoChris Smith:
I'm always you know, everybody's jealous or what they don't have for me, I don't have a cool name. So I have name envy.Neal Schaffer:
It's all good, my friend. So you are the author of the conversion code national bestseller published with Wiley already on your second edition? You know, I look at the blurbs on the back and immediately if you need more traffic leads and sales, you need the conversion code from Neil, the other Neil, the much more famous Neil who spells Neil wrong with an eye instead of an alien, Neil Patel. So obviously, you've had a lot of success. And we'll go into the book and some of the takeaways for the audience, visa vie digital marketing and what have you. But let's take sort of a step back. Chris Smith, you as before we hit the record button. You're like I've worked with like, billionaire bosses. And so I guess, you know, who is who is Chris Smith? What, what, what brought you into this world of the digital marketing that you you wrote about in this book?Chris Smith:
Yeah, I think probably what would be unique and interesting about my journey into digital marketing is that it started in the boiler room doing phone sales for telemarketing companies that were basically doing fraud. I mean, I came from the real boiler room, The Wolf of Wall Street stuff. My first boss was named Lou Perlman. He discovered in sync Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears. I live here in Orlando. Well, when you work in a boiler room, and the The scripts and the coaching and the sales part of it is so good, I mean world class name, then all you need is good leads in your and then that's it's two things, right? So world class sales, great leads, and companies just don't have both. It's unbelievable. I've been waiting for a company to do as good of a job at both as my first company I've ever worked for, and no one has, because it is hard to get high quality leads. And it is hard to get them to convert over the phone on one call. And so when I got into marketing, I mean, the way I got into marketing was I was in sales, and I just started recording my sales pitches. And a great salesperson teaches they don't pitch. So I would do a class, you know, 95% training. Hey, now that you guys enjoyed it, now that I've helped your business, can you help my business give me five minutes to talk to you about the products that we sell. And I was teaching my company was yelling at me, Neil, because all of my classes were classes, they weren't sales pitches, because they booked them different on the calendar. And so I knew the best way to sale face to face in person belly to belly selling software was to be there have a great call, close them that day. But I had to keep in touch. I mean, I did it for selfish reasons I got into marketing, so that the people that bought my stuff wouldn't quit. I had to optimize Neil a 30 day campaign, because if they cancelled, they took my commission away. So if the person didn't keep it until day 31, I'm gone. So that forced me to do service, and marketing, to keep in touch with people and bring value to bridge that gap. That was why I started.Neal Schaffer:
That makes a heck of a lot of sense. Something I don't think I've ever mentioned this podcast. But when I was a high schooler, I took a part time job in a trailer, going through the phonebook, calling up people asking them if they need to remodel their home. So I know what a brutal world that is, and the turnover in that trailer, as you can imagine. And even the people that were successful, I don't even know if there was were legitimate leads or not. It were just people saying oh, these people said yes, here are the phone numbers. But anyway, that's a whole story for another time. That's very interesting how sales brought you in to marketing I similarly, my background b2b sales, I often found that there was a story that needed to be told about the company about the products to further get people interested in hearing what we had to say. But I love that teaching. You're almost doing content marketing before content marketing, because the classes were that was the content, right? And the marketing so fast forward, you did you end up working at a lot of companies and then become a consultant or what sort of, because your book is obviously built upon a lot of experiences. What Where did you accumulate those overtime?Chris Smith:
Yeah, I'm always happy to pay it forward. And you know, I've learned a lot from a lot of people. And I'm lucky now that I'm teaching, but a lot of what I'm teaching is what I learned, I mean, you've been doing what you're doing a long time, just like me, not every lesson sticks. So if you have a career, that's 20 years, 30 years, and you've had amazing coaches at world class companies, the stuff you don't forget is the stuff you should teach. Because you learned so much that you forgot. So those nuggets, those isms, those phrases, those drawings, right, that's just how I learned. And so the book I would say is, you know, half, hey, here's what I learned from all these amazing people. And then here's what I learned doing it for myself and my clients and my company. So I got, I started getting headhunted by, you know, software companies and media companies and publicly traded companies, they all wanted me to come work for them. Because I was great at social media, and they weren't, they needed help. And I was the most influential person in real estate, the number one blog in real estate, the most followers everything in the real early days. And so when that started happening, my phone's ringing the Wall Street Journal called me, Neil in 2010. And said, Can we give you $5,000 a month to advertise on your blog? Cool. And I was like, Who is this? Who are you? Is this Johnny, you know, just a joke. And it wasn't, because I had an audience. That was niche that loved me. And so the Wall Street Journal sells ads for listings, but they don't want to sell the ads for listings to every agent, just the best ones, because they're expensive. So you can go advertise on a lot of places. But if you advertised on tech savvy agent, that was my blog, you knew exactly who you are reaching, and I'm a sales guy. I present the stuff I'm excited about as if it's mine. I'm up here selling that you try this app. I'm over here selling figma I'm over here selling slack. I'm selling up work. You know what I mean? I sell everything that I love. And yeah, I own stuff. And my I love my book. It's great. I think my classes are amazing. So when you have that belief in what you're saying I think it's easy to get pumped about it. But yeah, it's been a fun journey. And it's been an interesting journey. And I love what you said there, Neil, about content marketing before it was content marketing, content marketing. Before it was content marketing was a very simple idea. Listen, more than you speak, so that you know what to say back through the lens that will be interesting to the person hearing it. You know, I think you know, Phil, Jim Jones, he's one of my buddies. I wrote a book with him co authored exactly what to say, for real estate agents off the back of his main title. And it is amazing how bad people are it just basic conversations, you know, when they learn what's in that book, which is honestly, it is so simple. It's like three words, like, What makes you say that, like, you know, in my book, I'm making fun of it. It's that simple. But the key is that in there's a story about this, that I'm gonna butcher, but there's this guy, like, take someone out. And the whole time you ask them questions. And then the other guy, he takes out and the whole time, he talks to him about himself. And the guy that he asked all the questions to came back and was like, Oh, my God, I love this guy. He's amazing. He's the best guy I've ever wanted to work for. He's awesome. The other guy's like, yeah, he's pretty good. Meanwhile, it's because he was asking questions, he was putting the mirror back on them. So the issue is, most people mele are not genuinely curious. Most people don't actually care if the lead magnet is more valuable than my email. So the people that do are doing really good.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah. Well said, and, you know, just going back to those b2b sales days, you know, we were trained in solution selling, and you basically your customers are telling you what they need, you just need to ask the right questions, listen, and then propose something for what they were asking. And on a simplistic basis. So I mean, there's obviously more to it than just that. But I'm curious. So all of these things led you to real estate, I'm assuming which led you to social media. So what was it? And I know we're going back in history here, but there are some there's still some of people that listen to this and aren't maybe not active like, well, I don't see. I don't see my tic TOCs. Important today, or whatever, social network. So I'm curious as to what brought you to become that passionate about blogging, or when you said you were on social media, what what brought you into that world in the early days?Chris Smith:
Yeah. So the well, dopamine, you know, because when you're good at it, and you put out great content, you got good, a lot of feedback. It's great. It's amazing. Like people don't want to be writers, they want readers. So I wanted readers. I wanted viewers, I wanted fans. And social media gave that to me right out of the gates. And so from day one, I've loved it. And I've loved it, because I've also from day one, I'll tell you a quick story. I'm driving home from a long day of selling software had the whole state of Florida so I was driving a ton. So I'm driving home long day, 1415 hour day, and we had a my boss, Max pigman. He was a firstname.lastname@example.org. He said, Hey, we're going to do a quick training. I want to show you guys something that they just showed me because you know, these guys have ad agencies and these billion dollar companies have CMOs and stuff, right? So he's like, Hey, pullover. So we everybody just stopped with their door. We kind of did a WebEx I think that's around anymore, but we did a WebEx and he said, watch this. And he was showing us how Facebook ads worked. And he showed us the targeting. And it didn't take me more than 30 seconds to be like, Oh, okay, I went straight home. And I set up an ad. And I said this Keller, Williams or Coldwell Banker have more agents in my community find out here. And then I did another one. And I said, is Trulia or Zillow going to acquire tech savvy agent first, and I targeted at those companies. And Neil, no lie. Less than one week, the CEO of Zillow. Dude, what's up here? What are you doing? Because everybody in the office was showing him the ad. Yeah, yeah. So I was like, okay, I'm good. So, what happens for menial is I don't need a mound of evidence, like a lot of people do in your world. I just need a slice of evidence plus my instincts and then I just go full speed ahead.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, I'm with you on that. That those are great stories and it's still funny because we can still use social media ads and the targeting capabilities have changed over time, but you can still go on it and use it as a way to experiment and generate word of mouth or or action like you just did there even today. That's still a lot of companies have until IChris Smith:
heard somebody Her name is Jamie she's with a group called Girls with grit. I want to give her the props here but she said you're you shouldn't be you should just try to be five mile famous. Because if your goal is to be five mile fame chemists, it's actually not that daunting, like, if I told you, you know, Neil, I need you to become the most famous person within five miles of my house, you could do it, it probably wouldn't even take that long. But have some billboards, like I can tell you Rocco English is probably the most famous dude around here, why he's on all the State Farm billboards, he's on all the park benches, you know, I'm saying, ain't that hard to get famous in a five mile radius, you just have to find your five miles on the internet. And people are just trying to go too big is my is my guess in most cases, they're trying to go after the whole internet,Neal Schaffer:
food for thought. All right, on that food for thought, I want to jump into the conversion code because, you know, Second Edition and the volume, you know, we have, obviously, it's built down into sections. But there's, you know, there's a few dozen chapters here. And it really covers from what I can see the entire scope of digital content, social media marketing. But let's first start when I asked you, you know, what did you want to talk about today? And, you know, we're talking about stop chasing these started tracking clients. You mentioned digital marketing as like the first one. So it's funny, I recently had another marketing author on and he says, Neil, the funny thing is that most of my clients, they're still they still don't have the digital marketing fundamentals down. Right. And all of my consulting seems to be spent on that. Yeah. Curious if you're seeing the same thing in the market. I am definitely since COVID. I'm seeing something very similar, where, you know, I wrote a book and influence and marketing companies reach out to me for that, but it's like, Wait, we don't have the fundamentals down yet. Let's get our house in order first and get that working, then everything else going to be more effective. So I'm curious as to what your what your angle is on all this?Chris Smith:
Well, it's funny you say that, because in the in the book, I use the analogy that if you even had company over tonight, you'd clean your house rigorously. But people are inviting company to their website all day, every day, and they don't straighten it up first. And that's exactly your point, I can go hire Logan Paul, or Bella porch or one of these people to pimp my stuff. But if the landing page is broken, and the auto responder sucks, and the sales team takes too long to call, I just back to wasting my money again. Or you don't even have a funnel, which no, so that's, you know, when you say I cover everything I do, but in order, you know, you said you're a processes person, what I did is I said, Okay, I'm meeting way too many people that are bad at all of it or not doing any of it or barely doing any of it. So let me start over. And let me take a step back and figure out what do I have in place that other people need? And and what is the proper order to deploy that. So I'm a little old school, call me old school, I start with the website. And then I go to the landing pages. And then I go to the lead magnets. And then I go to blogging. And then I go to Facebook, Instagram to look right, so I'm covering all of it. Because I've done all of it. The only thing I write about is stuff that I've done for myself, or I've seen done for my customers. But it's sort of like, what Brene Brown calls me search. I'm doing me search every day. And then I take the me search that seems really relevant. And I say, Hey, Jimmy, go see if this will work. For our 600 agency clients. I think this I think this me search might be they search too. And oh my god, Neil, it works sometimes, you know. So I'm the lab. That's how I think of it my personal brand is the lab. And then the the call it experiments that do well. I then develop a hypothesis that they'll do well for others. And then I have scale, which is great because I have a huge email list. And I have a ton of followers and I have a ton of clients and fans and all this stuff. So I'm able to I mean, it is so gratifying. Like I was teaching a class yesterday. And the guy asked a question about vertical videos. And he was asking about, you know how to structure the video because so many people are doing vertical videos to your point. They're kind of new. And it's like, Hey, this is Neil, I wanted to welcome you today to our tic tock channel. You know, what we're going to talk about today with IBM is we're going to talk about the advances that we've made in Watson. And you know, Neil, you're laughing because I'm six tiktoks past you and you're still talking. That makes sense. So that that like the science of this stuff is so fascinating to me, because I've had people comment on my book on Amazon, oh, you're just charismatic. You can it's just you bullshit. That is that is so false. Because I've worked with and coached 1000s of salespeople. I've seen salespeople that are terrible, become really good. And I've seen salespeople that are average become great. And it was just because they executed the Exynos they were learning Was it? So it's very practical, you know, wildly, probably hates the book, because no one can explain it. What's the conversion code? Oh, it's everything that's not good for marketing, you know that, Neil. But the reality is someone needed to write a book about all of it. And I felt like I deserve to be able to do that, because of how much experience I have on the sales side. And so I wrote, maybe one of the only books, I'd love you to research it on marketing and sales. And I think that's crazy, that there's one. And I also think it's crazy that marketing sales and tech companies haven't figured that out that they're so dependent and reliant upon each other. So you said earlier with the books based on but it's literally marketing tech sales. Because once you have all the marketing cooking, well, now I gotta do lead routing, and lead scoring and drip campaigns and SMS, there's a lot of tech, I gotta use it, I don't really care if it's tech, but I have to use systems and technology to scale, my ability to go from MQL. To SQL.Neal Schaffer:
Know, Amen, brother, I'm the exact same way. And that's why everybody listening, you should be doing the exact same thing. If you have a personal brand, that is your playground to experiment with, right? And if you work at a company, that is also your playground, to come up with these hypotheses, create your own processes that then you can take anywhere. So you know, agree 100% I'm a kid. I'm a similar spirit. I work on a smaller scale. But yeah, I only write about things that I experiment with. And that's why my new book has taken a few years because I need more data of replicating this with clients proving it out. But But Amen, brother, and yeah, you know, we talked about sales and marketing alignment. I mean, it's, it's there, right? And the technology is the glue, that also by the way, helps you scale. SoChris Smith:
yeah, and there's no red tape when it's just your your stuff. Yeah, of course, I don't need to call anyone to see if I'm allowed to do it. I don't have to a meeting get sign off and buy in and look at it from 360 degrees about how everyone else will think about it. Like, here's what happens in the real world when you can move fast. I see a tweet that said if if famous companies websites, headlines were honest, I saw that tweet. It was great. Kevin, remember the guy that did it. It was like Netflix, Apple's all these huge brands. So I said, Oh, I'm gonna do that for real estate. I'm gonna do the same thing. But I'm gonna take the headlines off Zillow, and I'm going to take the headline off Redfin, I'm gonna take the headline off realtor.com And I'm gonna put my own headlines, because I know the industry and so I knew what would land with agents. So, for realtor.com I took off the headline and I put, like Zillow, but for boomers. For Trulia, I put we're surprised we're still here to they're still there for Zillow. I said, we didn't get rid of Realtors, but we got really rich trying to. And then for Redfin, I said, people love using our app, using our agents. Not so much. Okay, if I do that campaign is my company. I'm in a lawsuit probably pretty quickly. But because it's just me and Glenn, the CEO of red fin, and we had a little spat on Twitter. And next thing, you know, it's getting written up in the news, that he can't take a joke. He said, I'm saying, because it's clearly a joke. It's clearly parody. So So it's sort of the gift and the curse to be able to move that fast.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah. And that's, that's something definitely the larger the company, the harder and probably a lot of you are nodding your heads. But on the other hand, if you are a personal brand and content creator, and entrepreneur, there's no excuse not,Chris Smith:
well, not can I address the people with the companies that think it's impossible? What Why can't they carve out a SEAL team? Like, why can't you silo experiments? It's really not that hard. Like, you have to have r&d. That's just social media. You know. And so anyway, I understand how hard it is to have a pretty big company, not as big as these guys that you work with. I got 60 employees. You know, we do over a million a month in revenue that recurs like big boys. Yeah, it's hard. So I understand the challenges of being a huge company. Like I actually almost got fired Neil, when I started my blog, because guess what was against the company policy. Can't put out content that's not approved by us because we're publicly traded. I just didn't care. I just knew what I was doing was the right thing to do. And you know, who else knew my boss so if you're that executive that knows that there's people in your company that need to be put into a pope mobiel so that they're untouchable, do itNeal Schaffer:
and I have talked to some people that work at very large enterprises that are in that position. So it is it is possible and it really comes down to that relationship with with that that executive that Bossa understands that so, so well said. Yeah,Chris Smith:
one of them wanted to fire me. One of them wanted to promote me. Yeah. Thankfully, the one that wanted to promote me was my A direct report. The one that wanted to fire me was his boss. So I had that layer of insulation.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah. Good reminder. So we're gonna get back to the book. So we talked about the digital marketing, one of the other things you talked about was lead follow up. So the fundamental is you you have a funnel, you have a way of actually generating leads, you know, once you have your house in order, and I know you go into that, how to do that in the book as well. But once we get those leads, what is it that we need to know about the lead follow up that you've seen?Chris Smith:
Well, it's it's so smart of you to point out that people don't have the lead generation part figured out why Lee forced me to write section one. Neil, I wanted to write a book called Inside Sales. That was the proposal. Oh, really? Yeah, inside sales, which was going to be a double meaning, right? Like inside the boiler room, here's the dirty secrets. And then inside sales, here's how to do it real good. They said, Chris, people don't need a book about following up with leads, they don't have any leads. So no one's gonna read it. I was like, Okay, I got you. So part two, which is now we have the leads coming in. This is probably the thing that you can finagle the quickest to get results. Because as an example, I'm listening to this. And let's say, I don't have an auto responder text message. When leads that come in, have a phone number with them, let's just say hypothetically, that there's companies out there that would fit that description. Just doing that can turn the knob, even more than marketing getting better, or sales getting better. Because that's happening every day, like you said, that's why you want the house to be clean, you know, get rid of the friction. And so then another one would be how quickly are people calling, you know, every second counts, you should see the difference between minute one minute two and minute three, the difference between minute five minute 30. The difference between day one and day seven time kills conversion. And so that's another thing a lot of companies have not put in place, they do not have speed to lead dialed in. Another very small one is people don't answer the phone when you call them. And so I don't want to have to do things that are annoying. But because there's so many Robo dials and political voicemail stealth Robo drops, I don't know what they're called, I know there's 4 billion robo calls a month. And so because of that, even if the person wanted me to call them, they're going to ignore that first call because they don't know the number. So when that happens, I don't get mad. I call again right away, and they pick up half the time I call it the double dial. Those are little tactical changes. Another one honestly, Neil, combine the ideas, merge codes, people still don't even use merge codes, right? You get a lead, let's go down that path of the text message. It doesn't have to say, Hey, why'd you reach out to us? Because hey, Neil, how's your day going? This is Chris from Salesforce. So, personalization, simple. You know, automation, following up with leads, just focus on the first text, people, people, they try to eat the whole elephant, you know that I think there's little things in the follow up component of this whole puzzle, that are your quickest path to moving the numbers like lead conversion rate, cost per lead ROI, those numbers go up quicker, sometimes through just the wires under the hood, getting kind of stripped away and put back together in the right circuit.Neal Schaffer:
And what you're talking about is something that no one talks about. We talked about the customer journey, what happens after the lead what what does that follow up look like? Right? Do you even get someone on the phone? I think for all the digital talk we talked about, there's nothing more valuable than getting someone on the phone to be able to or a video like this, to be able to speak with them to understand their body language, what have you. So well said and and just adding the text part, right? There's so many companies that don't that just focus on the email, not realizing that text marketing converts, as I'm sure you know, crazy, high rate once you have it dialed in. So really, really great advice. Wherever you are on that journey. It does not stop at the lead. Needless to say,Chris Smith:
well, here's a quick stat 95% of leads take more than 30 days to close. So if you've got it all front loaded, but there's nothing back loaded. Again, that can crank up the ROI tremendously.Neal Schaffer:
Awesome. So the other thing we wanted to talk about was inside sales. So I actually when I was in b2b sales for a software company, this is some time ago, they were just starting their first inside sales department and all the sales we were like, What the heck is inside sales, it's going to compete with us and and obviously today it's become mainstream. But there might be some marketers that don't know what inside sales is. So why don't we start with Can you define it and then what should the role of that be in any company that might be listening?Chris Smith:
Yeah, well It's so ironic what you just said my inside sales. Like when I was doing the outside sales that we've talked about on this podcast, that channel was decimated and went away. Yeah. Because 15 of us spread out the country. We couldn't outsell Frankie, the worst inside sales rep. And he's in Vancouver. He'd even never met a realtor. So the writing was on the wall for me. I just happen to be number one in outside sales. And if you're great, they'll figure out somewhere else to put you. But a lot of these guys are getting laid off each and every month. So inside sales to answer your question is, it's basically a call center. It doesn't have to all be in one place. Now, it could be anywhere. But it is dialing for dollars. It's phone sales, it's telemarketing, it's outbound calling to inbound leads. And phone sales are different now. I think you have a lot of sass companies tuning in, and they're very blessed. They don't know it. Because the culture is this. Yeah, this is the culture, this ain't the culture at the in the mortgage industry. We know in any face to face, zoom, there's no body language, there's no idea i belly to belly, you know, face to face. And that's where realtors and a lot of these service industries shine. They sign in the room, they shine in the living room, they shine on the showing they shine driving around the go to the next property because they know everything about the area. But they're not that good on the phone if you can't see him. And if you don't know him, so they're just so used to talking to people that they know that can see them. And now you got to talk to people that you don't know, they don't see you. So things like scripts and questions and tone. And it's a whole nother beast. And that's actually why I wrote the book, I was working with all these top real estate teams. And we did a conference for him. And we just said, What do you want to learn? We gave him like 100 topics to choose from lead conversion was the number one by far it was like 2015 2014. So I'm like man lead conversion, though? I know how to do that. I did that for 10 years. Like I didn't know they didn't know how to do that part. That's the easy part. For me. That's the easy part. Because generating high quality leads is hard. Yeah, I think that's harder than being good at sales for you know, whoop for all my CMOS on the call capturing high quality leads that are easy to convert, I believe is harder than being great at sales. And so what we're all just hoping for is to be great at both.Neal Schaffer:
So the inside sales was really part of this. This, I guess it could be part of that follow up process that you talked about as well. What are you going to do for 30 days to keep them warm? But also as its own? Its own sort of, well, sales and marketing channels?Chris Smith:
Yeah, you know, voicemails or audio ads, Neil, that's all they are a voicemails and audio ad, you know, and in an email that doesn't get opened as an impression. The targeted impression to right, so, yeah, like it goes all the way from the Super Bowl all the way down to the guy in the cubicle doing hand to hand combat.Neal Schaffer:
So do you encourage that every company you work with to implement inside sales? And it's funny because, you know, cold email? This seems to be very, very popular these days, as you know, likeChris Smith:
the robot in our inboxes. That's for sure. Yeah, exactly.Neal Schaffer:
So what you're saying is why, you know, why aren't you doing cold phone calling? Why aren't you doing inside sales, as well as that? It was only referring to those leads that come inChris Smith:
the all the best is to do inbound marketing, outbound sales, but I'll be honest with you, if you've got a great product, and you've, you know, can solve a real problem and you do sort of what I would call warm outreach. Not that they know you, but that you should reach out and that you customize the reach out. It can work great. I know it's hard to scale that. But I don't know man, I've just found that that that marketing channel that's missing in many cases, is the the frontline worker. And yeah, inside sales is going to do a ton of stuff for us. They're going to call the leads, they're going to text the leads, they're going to leave voicemails, they're going to send the leads your collateral that you love to create all those videos you paid for all those PDFs you had made. Who do you think's going to hand that to the person? Because you think they got it all off your website? No. We need a guide to show us how this all works. But in real estate, as one example, if you were to go to let's say there's a website company in real estate and they want to sign up all the top realtors. Well, one path would be to build a bunch of funnels and build their brand and build content and that's a great path. It just takes a while most people are not that patient. The other path would be go on Zillow. Put in the zip code that you want to sell them, see who the top agents are, and reach out to them because of the top agents and say, Hey, Veronica, I'm reaching out to you because you sold 2400 homes last year, after I call you, I'm going to call Jenny Wiemer. My goal is to work with one of the two of you. And here's why I get that deal all day long. I don't need that she doesn't need to know me, to, for me to get that meeting.Neal Schaffer:
So inside sales starts where marketing automation stops. And it is the missing piece that most organizations don't really have dialed in is,Chris Smith:
oh, Neil, the beauty is when you can turn it off. Like, I don't have a lot of email marketing automation, because I write and send an amazing email every single week. So I got one or two up front, because you have to because they do so well. But I just let them go into the normal flow, because my normal stuffs great. So yeah, automation is overrated. And the issue is that because you can doesn't mean you should, every company needs a kill switch. And the person you would actually use that kill switch on the most would be the best leads that were the most likely to convert. Because once sales identifies them, and typically the way we would advise that sort of turn off all communication, except for me, is when the salesperson manually changes the stage to hot. So I'm not changing it to hot unless something real good happened. And if something real good happened, and if I changed them to hot the last thing I need is drip number 34 going out tomorrow,Neal Schaffer:
it happens so often. To make it look like a fool. Yeah.Chris Smith:
So that's actually something. Well, we work with a great CRM called follow up boss. And that was one of the smartest things they did. And it was just because customers needed it. It was once their mark contacted. It turns off all the campaigns. And then if you want to turn it back on, you can you might contact them a week later, they say we're still gonna wait a year. Okay, turn the campaigns back on. Sure.Neal Schaffer:
Yeah, that's, that's the problem with too much automation is you don't know, you don't even know who's gonna get what email next, you know, what date? So well said. So, yeah, I mean, you're just a treasure trove of, of, you know, really, really actionable information. I think people listening had a lot to think about. And I will say, I have worked with real estate companies as well. But, you know, if you think of every real estate agent, as an entrepreneur, as a small business owner, that what what happens in that world is is is wonders and applicable to any business. So I don't want people listening to think, you know, oh, that's just real estate. It's reality?Chris Smith:
Well, I would actually say it's harder than most because there's such a small percentage of the population that are actually needing your services anytime soon. You know, people don't buy and sell a home, but every seven to eight years. So it's like, what do you what's your six year 11 month marketing plan look like? That's why content marketing is so important in real estate. Talk about because it's nothing but listings and sold and market reports. They're gonna tune out and I'll leave you with this. 91% of people love their realtor. 9% of them use them the next time. Yep, we all know. Yeah. Mark Young. Yep.Neal Schaffer:
Yep. So true. Well, Chris, thank you so much for hopping on. I know that a lot of my audience probably want to reach out to you. Obviously, the conversion code is wherever fine books are sold. We'll make sure we have a link in the show notes. Where else can people find out learn more about you and learn from you as well as your business?Chris Smith:
Yeah, thanks so much. Twitter and Instagram. That's my favorite two platforms. I'm on there all day, every day. It's me using 100% ch, RI s underscore s. M T. H. No ions Smith. When I got the account, Neil, I couldn't afford the vowel.Neal Schaffer:
And Twitter post Elon Musk.Chris Smith:
I love it. Listen, I don't get caught up by who the boss is. That is such a slippery slope to try to figure out. Like, I think the thing that Ilan did, and I wrote about this, that people are missing amongst the chaos is he just instilled overnight a culture of engineering and innovation. They are moving fast, and they are breaking things and I love it. So um, I don't even really care about his personal high jinks. I think sometimes that clouds how good he is at executing and getting awesome engineering talent and making real changes that are that actually matter. Like he's already made more changes that are awesome, in like 90 days than they did in like nine years. So I and by the way, if we have to find someone, at least he's kind of in the middle. whether you're right or left, he kind of goes each way he plays both sides of the fence, at least that you know, at least it's not just purely Trump or purely Obama running the whole thing that To me, it would be super divisive. So it's scary and it's new. But if I'm a brand, I'm just looking at the data. Yep. And I don't think that you can pigeonhole a whole social network. You can't cancel culture, a social network.Neal Schaffer:
Um, so I thought it was funny. And I don't know whether I like Elon Musk or not whether, regardless of the political spectrum I'm on, I look at the data, my actual experience, I didn't see much of a difference. Everyone's like, Oh, I'm going to Macedon. I'm like, why would I change what's different and when things start to change, but I haven't seen any changes myself. There's fewer people on but I think I'm having deeper conversations with the fewer people there and I'm finding newer people coming on now. So theChris Smith:
best change you made was to just expose the views think how much more valuable Twitter feels because he's showing you impressions. I'm getting way more impressions on Facebook. They just don't show it to me unless I click a couple of times, or it's kind of buried. So he just like cranked up the dopamine on day one by doing that. And you know what it did for me, like, hopefully a lot of people listening. Okay. People are seeing our stuff.Neal Schaffer:
Also game on how do I get this number up now? Right? Yeah. How do I improve my content and what have you soChris Smith:
Amen. Well, said my friend. All right, Neal. Thanks again, man. Thanks for having me on.Neal Schaffer:
Thank you so much. All righty. Well, I hope you enjoyed the interview. As much as I did. Chris is not just a wealth of information, but very, very energetic. I love the energy that he brings. I try to think of myself as being somewhat energetic when I speak but I think I lost to Chris, I'm not gonna lie. But anyway, hey, that's it for another episode. If you are interested in getting specific help with your specific marketing problems, did you know that I have two different solutions for you, I have a group coaching program called Digital First, we are limited to 15 people Max. If you go to Neal schaffer.com/membership, you can find out if there is an opening for you or not. Because often there is a waiting list. As I'm speaking right now, there's an opening, no guarantees that will happen by the time this podcast publishes. But check it out Neal schaffer.com/membership. And if you wanted dedicated personal one on one, marketing help, that is what my fractional cmo marketing consulting program is all about. Go to Neal schaffer.com/cmo to check it out. And whether it is through group coaching, fractional CMO, or just listening to my podcast and reading my blog posts, I am here to serve you. I am passionate about your success. If there is something that I can help you with, if there is a topic that you haven't seen me cover on my blog or on this podcast, please please reach out to me, let me know I would love to hear from you. My email address. Well, you can tag me and DM me anywhere on social. But if you want to reach out to me via email, my email address is Neil that is the real Neal and e al at Neal schaffer.com. You should know how to spell my last name right? Regardless any al sch a ffer.com. I look forward to well being together with you virtually on the next episode next week. So until then, this is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer signing off. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes and Neal schaffer.com to tap into the 400 Plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's Digital First group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.